The Botswana National Front (BNF) has submitted a formal complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman alleging maladministration, conflict of interest, and possible corrupt practices.

The complaint addresses allegations of preferential treatment for government officials and cabinet ministers. Submitted by BNF Secretary General Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, the complaint highlights concerns regarding a recent government procurement involving the purchase of bulls from abroad, the secrecy surrounding the procurement process, and the subsequent preferential treatment of ministers, assistant ministers, and senior government officials during Cabinet meetings.

The BNF alleges that the government’s recent purchase of bulls from abroad was not transparent nor competitive. The letter states that the cattle bought from the USA was done in a secretive manner which contradicts principles of transparency.

It is the view of the BNF that public resources cannot be spent in such a secretive manner, without any clear procurement process. The Ombudsman, Stephen Tiroyakgosi, was not available to respond, but a lady in the public relations office told The Midweek Sun she could neither deny nor confirm receipt of the complaint, adding that they treat every correspondence or report made to them with the utmost confidentiality.

Furthermore, the BNF's complaint highlighted that there is preferential treatment of government officials in the distribution of semen from the artificial insemination centre in Ramatlabama. The BNF notes that this is problematic because Ministers, Assistant Ministers and Senior Government officials are given special treatment in the sale of bull semen.

The BNF wrote that the use of official vehicles, state funding for travel, and the transport of bull semen from Ramatlabana at public expense during the Cabinet meeting is a blatant abuse of public office and maladministration.

The BNF notes that if Cabinet members have an interest to buy bull semen, which is the property of the state, they must do so at their own private time and using their private resources. It cannot be done while attending a Cabinet meeting and on preferential basis.

The party calls upon the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the alleged maladministration and provide an appropriate remedial action. The complaint raises critical concerns regarding the equitable treatment of public resources and the conduct of government officials in Botswana.

Motshegwa confirmed to The Midweek Sun that they submitted their complaint to the office of the Ombudsman and they expect the Ombudsman to take action based on the powers vested upon him. Failure to do so will mean that the organisation is failing to conduct its core mandate.