Jonathan Raheem Hosseini, the Chief operations Officer (COO) of Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) who was suspended pending investigation has been cleared of all charges.
However, BG News has reliably learnt that BPC is under the investigation radar of both the parent ministry and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) both of whom are doing their independent investigations.Hosseini was the subject of a forensic investigation by Deloitte which was instituted by the board following a tip-off from a whistleblower. Amongst the allegations was that Hosseini was and remained a director of a family company named Tobela Solar Power (Pty) LTD when he joined BPC on 22nd May, 2017.
Records show that he only resigned on 1st September 2017. Tobela was awarded a 1 Megawatt (MW) solar power pilot project in the Shoshong constituency. Tobela was formerly known as Vase Settings Propriety Limited before it changed on 31st May, 2017 according to their certificate of incorporation.
In early September 2017, Directors of Tobela were listed as Morteza H Abkenari and Lister Tlale with the third being Jonathan Raheem Husseini who resigned on 1st September 2017. There was also talk of extending the tender to make it a 5MW. The Board and Human Resources Committee (BHRC) took issue with this and decided to suspend or lay Husseini on administrative leave pending the Deloitte forensic investigations.
Speaking to Botswana Guardian on the sidelines of a press conference of his ministry at Avani hotel, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Eric Molale confirmed that the investigation on the COO has been concluded but, “they have not reported to me”.
But Molale said there were also other things that he needs to investigate, such as policy issues around Citizen Economic Empowerment. “If you take the North West Transmission line, BPC says it has complied with the requirements. I am saying no, so I have to then satisfy myself at that level to ensure that the citizen empowerment requirements of a huge project like those are actually investigated and I get a good picture of what is happening”.
He confirmed that the DCEC has received reports and are also making their own investigations, but could not share details citing the stringent DCEC modus operandi. However, he said this does not stop him from moving ahead to try and “remove pains that may be there at BPC”.
Asked if he had appointed any committee to investigate the BPC, Molale said, “No, It is an internal thing, and actually I am going to be visiting the project maybe in the next two weeks to also have first hand information and impressions on the ground”.
Hosseini could not be drawn to say if he was back at work citing company policy, which says that all company information is released by the Marketing and Communication Officer, Dineo Seleke or the CEO, Dr Stephan Schwartzfischer.