As DCEC opens new office in Palapye
Councillor of Khurumela ward in Palapye, George Makhura, has urged the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) to cast their net wide and bring to book the big fishes that are involved in corruption, instead of targeting the ordinary individuals only.
Speaking in an interview during Palapye Administrative Authority (PAA) councillors’ visit to the newly opened DCEC offices in Palapye on Tuesday, Makhura regretted that the big fish always escape DCEC net.
Makhura said corruption it should be fought at all the levels of society and government because it has a negative impact on the country’s economy. He said everyone from the president, vice president, ministers and senior members of the government should be investigated and prosecuted when they are engaged in acts of corruption.
“Even the opposition members, whether it is Dumelang Saleshando, Ndaba Gaolathe or whomever, they should be prosecuted when they are involved in corruption means. However that should not be used as a way of persecuting them for their political affiliations,” he said.
He said where a top figure is brought before the courts for acts of corruption, they is never a conviction. “These people always walk free, but the evidence will be there for everyone to see, the reason for this is their political connection to the ruling party,” he said.
He further said subordinates in the government often feel the wrath of DCEC for following the instructions from their superiors. He said corruption will continue to be prevalent if it is not addressed holistically, by bringing everyone involved before the law.
Head of DCEC in Palapye Teekay Kaelo said the reason why the so- called small fish are often the ones who feel the brunt of DCEC is because the trail of evidence always points to them. He said they allow themselves to be used by those at the top, which have always left them vulnerable to the investigation by DCEC.
“We work by evidence, and the evidence always points to the small fish. For example a technical survey will be the one that answer to the action that he performed at the instruction of his superior while the superior goes away scot free because there is no tangible evidence or paper trail that points to them,” he said.
He advised those who are bound to be caught up in the situation not to allow themselves to be used.
He said DCEC is not only chasing after the ones at the bottom as currently there is a former senior member of government (Former PSP) who was appearing before the courts.
Kaelo said acts of corruptions are rampant in the councils. They have recently undertaken an audit of the Social & Community Development Destitute persons’ programme to examine the level of compliance and effectiveness of the processes and procedures of social assistance and protection of destitute households utilising the voucher (Coupon) system.
“This entails the process of identification of permanent and temporary destitute persons to the point of exit from destitution. Data was collected from operations carried out from 1st April 2018 to date,” he said. They took samples from Serowe, Mahalapye and Palapye sub districts and the finding of this audit shows that some undeserving people benefit from this programme because of undue process of selection. “Civil servants are pointing fingers at you, but they also have a part in the undue process,” he said.
PAA chairperson Khumoyame Lekoko said it is a shame and disheartening to hear about the malpractices which are done by their own. “I was flabbergasted when you mentioned that we interfere in the process to help the less privileged. It really broke my heart that someone who is able to take care of themselves is in contradiction called under privileged,” she said.
She further said the council is aware of what is happening at their workshops and that they intend to put on their work boots and investigate what happens at the place.