The Mayor of Gaborone Kagiso Thutlwe has apparently received P200, 000 in cold hard cash from accused money launderer, Bakang Seretse.
This publication was not able to verify whether the amount was from the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) or from Seretse.
Seretse and co-accused Botho Leburu as well as Kenneth Kerekang will be back in court next week Wednesday where they face charges of money laundering.
Thutlwe’s alleged acceptance of the P200, 000 is open secret in opposition politics circles.
Two independent sources including an opposition Member of Parliament told this publication that the allegation is already making rounds.
Thutlwe, who is a former Botswana National Front Youth League Vice President, joins the league of President Ian Khama, his deputy Mokgweetsi Masisi, among others, who are alleged to have benefitted from the NPF’s P250 million.
Thutlwe has allegedly conceded to benefitting P200, 000 from Seretse but stated that the money was routed to the Gaborone City Council as a donation claiming that this was because the council is cash-strapped.
However, this claim was floored by a senior official in the City Council who told this publication on Friday that the Council only receives an operational grant from the Central Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The impeccable source, who is a senior officer at Gaborone City Council, stated in response to an inquiry: “As far as I am aware, we have not received any donation amounting to P200, 000. The Council doesn’t work with donations. We are bankrolled by the central government,” said the official who preferred anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Thutlwe is also known to have a beneficial relationship with the CEO of retail chain Choppies, Ramachandran Ottapathu.
He has also faced multiple coups by opposition colleagues who reviled him for a hedonistic existence, elitism and hobnobbing with ruling party head honchos.
Thutlwe did not answer or return calls to his mobile phone.
The maelstrom of the National Petroleum Fund scandal has already claimed the entire scalps of figures in the presidium.
The DCEC officer investigating the case, Adrian German told the court in its last sitting that President Ian Khama’s cut was channeled to constructing him a house and procuring a caravan.
Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to have received a P3 million share in cash while the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Resources, Sadique Kebonang was said to have procured houses in South Africa through an estate agency.
Other funds were said to have been externalized to Europe where property was bought.
Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Thapelo Olopeng is alleged to have received P70, 000.
The long-serving Botswana Democractic Party treasurer Satar Dada through his position is said to have received P2 million.
The disgraced and Gupta-esque Seretse had a stronghold on many politicians in both the ruling and opposition parties.
Besides ruling party czars, he is said to be close to leader of the Umbrella for Democratic Change, Duma Boko.
Seretse allegedly donated P70, 000 to UDC in the run up to the Jwaneng-Mabutsane by-election in 2016 that was however undeclared with the party.
Seretse’s lawyer Kgosietsile Ngakaagae also had not fulfilled his promise to consult his records by press time.