The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo has cleared misconception that there is government funds worth of P 22 billion missing at Bank of Botswana ( BoB).
Minister Matambo, while responding to question in parliament on Wednesday, told Parliament that the bank’s successive financial statements have generated clean audit reports. He made indications that the clean audit reports by the Auditor General confirm appropriate maintenance of accounts and existence of sound risk management at the bank.
“And in general, this resembles effective governance structures at the Bank of Botswana. I would like to reiterate my Ministry’s position that there are no Government funds missing from the Remittance Bank held at BoB,” he added.
Matambo argues that the source of the story on missing funds seems to have been the Auditor General’s report for the financial year ended 31st March 2017 which he believes was quoted out of context.
The Auditor General, according to Matambo, in her report on the Accounts of Botswana Government for the Financial year ended 31st, expressed concerns about the reconciliation of the govt. bank accounts making up the year end-totals.
“In this regard, the AG reported that the reconciliation statement of the remittance Account included unreconciled payments of P2.27 billion and un-reconciled receipts of P19.66 billion. Which should have been cleared? It should be noted that no funds were reported missing,” Matambo emphasized.
Quizzed over the reconciliation progress, he noted that the Remittance Account’s unreconciled items have been substantially reduced, the amounts now stand at P870 million for payments and P10.75 billion for receipts.
This is against the P2.27 billion and P19.66 billion for payments and receipts respectively that appeared in the Auditor General’s report.
Jwaneng Mabutsane MP Shaun Ntlhaile had asked the Minister to apprise Parliament if it is true that government funds are missing from the remittance account at Bank of Botswana.
Gaborone North MP Haskins Nkaigwa also sought answers if indeed there was no money missing while the government accounts are still not balancing. He further queried the long delay of reconciliation exercise.
Matambo maintained that reconciliation is a process and not an event; saying the Ministry strives for continuous improvement in making the accounts current.