- Kaedi planned a lucrative deal with Okavango Diamond Company
- “I am in the process of closing down the company” – Kaedi Khama
- Admits he wanted to do business with Te Haar’s company
- His cousin Marcus Te Haar heads Okavango Diamond Company
Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama’s son Kaedi Khama is allegedly at the centre of a failed diamond trading deal that has drawn the attention of the corruption busting agency, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).
Investigations by The Botswana Gazette have revealed that the young nephew of former President Ian Khama owns a company named Tau Diamonds, established in 2014, which specializes in rough and polished diamond trading.
Kaedi and his former business associate and school mate at Maru a Pula High School in Gaborone met later in Israel where the two studied political science and diamond trading. An alleged fall out between the two friends as a result of the poor performance of their business saw Kaedi relocating back to Botswana and the business associate moving to South Africa.
In his attempt to revive his company, Kaedi is purported to have proposed a deal believed to be worth millions with state-owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), sources close to the investigations stated.
Kaedi confirmed in an interview with The Botswana Gazette that his company planned to conduct business with ODC, though the deal fell through.
“Our investors wanted to buy from Okavango Diamond Company and not Debswana, but it didn’t work out, and in the end we did not get a deal. All this time that I was trying to get the deal, I was not being paid. I did all this for free,” he told The Botswana Gazette.
He also said he was in the process of closing down the company as it was failing to make money.
“I am currently in the process of closing down the company, because of the simple fact that it is not making any money. Our investors have withdrawn from the company and there is no need to continue,” said Kaedi.
The Botswana Gazette sources reveal that Kaedi was recently contacted by officials at the DCEC over the proposed multimillion pula deal with ODC. Allegedly, the corruption busting agency is also investigating how he acquired his diamond trading license. However, the young Khama denies being questioned by the DCEC.
In 2017, former President Khama appointed his nephew Marcus Patrick Khama Ter Haar as head of ODC, a position previously occupied by an experienced diamond industry professional. At the time, government claimed it was looking for a suitable candidate for the position and that Ter Haar’s time at the helm of ODC was temporary. Ter Haar replaced the company’s founding Managing Director, Toby Frears who was recruited by the government from De Beers in 2012 to head the company whose mandate is to establish a sales channel that will further strengthen Botswana’s expanding position in the global diamond market. Ter Haar still occupies the position in 2018.
Khama’s nephew is also a board member of the Lady Khama Charitable Trust and non-executive director and board member of the audit committee at Wilderness Safaris.
Kaedi’s father, Tshekedi also has interests in the Diamonds industry. In 2015, The Botswana Gazette reported that the Minister’s diamond company, Monak Ventures PTY LTD was in line to cash in from an acquisition deal worth P80 million which Firestone Diamonds Plc concluded with Canadian based Tango Mining Limited.
The success of the deal would see Tango Mining acquiring the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Firestone Diamonds Botswana (Pty) Ltd as well as its 90% interest in Monak Ventures (Pty) Ltd, in which Tshekedi holds a significant interest.