Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi has again been caught lying over the tenders awarded to Seleka Springs, a company owned by the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama and his twin brother Anthony Khama.
After Francistown South Member of Parliament Wynter Mmolotsi exposed his lies on Wednesday and informed him that he was misleading the house by saying that Seleka Springs has never awarded tenders at BDF, Kgathi came back with another answer on Thursday.
Contrary to what he said on Wednesday, Kgathi informed the house that Seleka Springs has not been given any tenders by the BDF but rather acted as an agency for certain international companies.
This prompted Mmolotsi to ask him whether he is saying that Motsumi misled the house in 2010 when she said that Seleka Springs were awarded tenders by the army.
“I don’t know why the then minister said that but the information I have right now is that the company has never been awarded tenders,” said Kgathi who at pains to justify his previous answer.
Gabane/Mmankgodi MP Major General Pius Mokgware questioned him if being agency doesn’t mean they are part of the company they are representing.
Instead of answering, Kgathi called on anyone who has information regarding the tenders awarded to Seleka Springs to share it with him.
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Kagiso Molatlhegi came to Kgathi’s rescue and informed Parliament that the issue has been closed for discussion.
On Wednesday, the deputy speaker also rescued Kgathi and asked that he and Mmolotsi should meet in his office to discuss the answer that the minister gave in Parliament.
The question about tenders awarded to Seleka Springs was asked by Mokgware wanting to know the number of tenders awarded to the company from 1980 to 1998 by the BDF and Botswana Police and the value of the tenders.
Mokgware is a former ground forces commander who was dismissed from the army in 2010 after a fall out with the then BDF commander Lieutenant General Tebogo Masire.
The Seleka Springs answer of December 2010 is widely believed to have cost Motsumi both her ministerial and parliamentary post as she was deployed to India as ambassador few months after she gave the answer.
Inside sources believe that Kgathi wanted to save his ministerial post by being economical with information regarding the tenders awarded to the Khama’s company.
In September this year Sunday Standard revealed that the then BDF commander Lieutenant General Louis Fisher questioned why Seleka Springs dominated tenders for the supply of military equipment to BDF while President Khama was still a commander.
In 1998 a whistleblower reported Seleka Springs to Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). DCEC instituted investigations on the company’s shady deals but later abandoned it.
Seleka Springs dominated procurement of major military equipment selling to BDF as they held agency licenses for Steyr of Austria, Thales Group of United Kingdom and Tadiran of Israel.
In 1998 Steyr sold BDF 46 Armoured Personnel Vehicles worth P426 million and in 1997 got a P7.2 million deal to supply the army with the 4K tracked Armoured Personnel Carriers.