Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Officers this week completed investigations and handed over to the Director of Prosecution the file of two employees of Botswana Football Association (BFA) Secretariat accused of embezzling the association funds
Speaking to BG Sport, Deputy Public Relations Officer of Botswana Police Senior Superintendant, Near Bagali, confirmed the investigations have been completed, and the case will be submitted to DPP to assess evidence and decision making on whether to prosecute or not.
He further confirmed that the two were investigated on a case of stealing by servant involving money over P600, 000. But he refused to name the names of the suspects saying that, “I can not divulge the names before they appear for mention in court.
BG Sport investigation established that the two officers – Stephen Maleka and Odirile Daka - allegedly embezzled the funds between April 2017 and January 2018 by way of transferring money originally destined to settle bills with at least 34 service providers, into their respective personal accounts are accused of embezzling funds amounting to over P608.532.40.
The investigation was started by the CID Officers of Central Police Station whose jurisdiction covers Lekidi Centre- the BFA headquarters - officially reported to them in by BFA Chief Executive Office, Mfolo Mfolo.
Botswana Guardian has learnt that the investigations were complicated as at some stage files containing FIFA payments to BFA in the last quarter of 2017 have allegedly disappeared from custody, hitherto, believed as safe and secure. Information reaching this publication early this year indicated that Maleka allegedly transferred into his account a total sum of P347, 541, 73 which was supposed to pay bills for 17 service providers between 11 April 2017 and 15 December 2017.
Some of the service providers that were to be paid included Adonsonia Hotel (P52, 810); Nationwide Travel (P41, 000); Lipro Executive Catering (P44, 035, 60); Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (P112, 419, 48) and Botswana Power Corporation (P 20, 219, 92) and Village Health Pharmacy (P32, 279, 15).
Daka on the other hand allegedly deposited into his account a total sum of P260.990.67 between 8 March 2017 and 12 January 2017, which money was meant to settle bills with 17 service providers as per documentation prepared and authorised by the BFA Secretariat.
Among these service providers were Cresta Mahalapye (P15, 476, 50); Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (P23, 700, 74); Spring Travel (P44, 500, 00): Tlotlo Conference (P8, 355, 00): Emergency Assist (P6, 720, 00): and Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (P15, 840, 00).
Preliminary investigations suggest that this is just a tip of the iceberg with fears that the two may have either been aided or connived with their supervisors to accomplish their mission.
For example, one of the two officers was already serving suspension after the employer discovered that he was living beyond his means.
While he earns a monthly salary of P13, 130 -00, the officer in question was able to comfortably service two loans – he was paying a monthly instalment of P13, 154, 88 with one financial services (name withheld) and another monthly instalment of P10, 227, 98 with another financial service provider ( also name withheld). The modus operandi was such that come every month end, the officer would deposit a certain amount of money into the BFA account and the atter (BFA) would service his account debt with the financial institutions (names withheld).
It is suspected that the loans were secured a long time ago, which begs the question, how this employee managed to evade BFA’s Financial Regulations and Principles.
Another gaping question is how did this employee secure confirmation of employment letter and who wrote it to convince the financial institutions to approve the loans.
Botswana Guardian investigation has established that although for now this could not be associated with the officers, files containing documents on how FIFA has been paying money to Lekidi- Botswana Football Association headquarters - have mysteriously disappeared. The said files are for payments made in the three consecutive months of October, November and December 2017.