- Govt bought the property for P10m and abandoned it
- Minister says the property will serve as a guesthouse for visiting heads of state
- DIS is alleged to be behind the purchase of the house
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations has been accused of wasting public funds following its purchase of Plot 3125 Sweden House for P10 million only for the property to fall into disuse.
Minister Lemogang Kwape confirmed in Parliament yesterday that the government purchased the property in December 2019.
“The property was put on offer in the open market and consequently purchased by the government in December 2019,” Kwape told Parliament.
The house, he added, was obtained with the idea of turning it into a government guesthouse for visiting presidents and heads of state.
According to Minister Kwape, valuation of the property was conducted by the Ministry of Lands Management, Water and Sanitation Services.
The property has reportedly never been occupied or otherwise used since it was obtained. “The property was purchased to be used as a government guesthouse for visiting heads of state and government,” he said.
“However, since its acquisition, the property has not been utilised because it required some renovations that could not be undertaken because resources were directed to the fight against COVID-19. It was only this year that funds were secured for the (purpose).”
Minister Kwape was responding to questions from the MP for Maun West, Dumelang Saleshando, who wanted to know why the property was purchased and how much it cost.
Speaking to The Botswana Gazette this week, Saleshando described purchasing the house as “irrational” because there are reports of another government guesthouse for use by VIPs.
“It does not make sense,” the assertive said. “We hear that there is already another government guesthouse used for VIPs. Visiting heads of state have been using hotels.”
The Botswana Gazette is informed that the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS) advised the government to buy the property as a part of bolstering the safety of President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
It is understood that the secret service and other law enforcement agencies recommended the clearing of properties in the vicinage of State House by buying them in order to enhance the security of the President.