The Parliamentary Select Committee of the inquiry into the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) and decline of the beef industry is expected to resume its public hearings today until 26th July 2013 in Gaborone. The select committee has been touring the BMC subsidiaries abroad to learn at first hand what has been happening in these organisations leading to the fall of the meat commission.
The committee had begun by conducting public hearings with various witnesses at the National Assembly headquarters, since February 2013. According to the Principal Public Relations Officer in Parliament, Karabo Marumo, “the committee has completed a marathon hearings programme at the different localities throughout the country and abroad on the third leg of its hearings.” The committee held hearings in Tsabong, Ganzhi, Maun, Kasane, Masunga, Letlhakane, Serowe, Bobonong, Mochudi, Tlokweng, Molepolole, Ramotswa and Kanye.
While conducting hearings in Gaborone before jetting abroad to the subsidiaries in Belgium, the UK and Cape Town, South Africa, the BMC committee had learnt shocking revelations.
It had been revealed that the downfall of the BMC was mainly due to abuse of funds, which saw a web of blames from one witness to another. It has also been revealed to the committee that the BMC had more than 19 bank accounts abroad, which were managed by anonymous persons as the accounting officers did not know about the said bank accounts. The committee also learnt that some officers subordinate to the Chief Executive Officers were earning more than the CEO both in Botswana and in Cape Town.
According to the committee’s chairperson, Mephato Reatile, the hearings in Gaborone will form the final submissions and hearings of evidence, as they get closer to the conclusion of their task. Thereafter, a detailed report will be tabled before parliament.