Nata-Gweta MP Polson Majaga stopped short of accusing Harvest Investment owner Sipho Mlalazi of enjoying the monopoly of food ration tenders through corrupt activities in his constituency.
This is after the concerned Majaga took to parliament and asked the Ministry of Basic Education about how Mlalazi was given twelve tenders to supply food rations to junior secondary schools in the region. Majaga also told The Botswana Gazette in an interview that he grew suspicious when all the tenders seemed to be given to the same individual.
“I have nothing against Mlalazi….I had to ask questions because I am everyone’s representative in this constituency. I once called him to my office and asked him about this monopoly which raises eyebrows or may come from corrupt activities,” said the MP who says he once let Mlalazi rent his shop to operate his business, proof, he says, that he holds nothing against him.
Majaga says Mlalazi does not only enjoy monopoly to supply food ration to schools, he also gets tenders for Dukwi Day (Refugees Commemoration Day) and “all the tenders at the Sowa Town Council.”
For his part Mlalazi dismissed Majaga’s claims, saying he only supplies schools with beef and has never had any deal with the Dukwi Refugee Camp. He also denied enjoying any monopoly, saying he supplies meat with another contractor from the region.
“I do not know what Majaga is on about. I am not involved or benefiting from corruption. I have been wrongfully accused of many things like stock theft by some people because I supply meat to schools. These are just smear campaigns aimed at destroying my reputation,” Mlalazi defended himself.
Dukwi Chief Oletsositse Mosweu said he was aware that Mlalazi’s company is enjoying monopoly over tenders but blamed the Tutume Sub District Council who he says “have always been corrupt” over the years and many people benefit unscrupulously.
On Mlalazi’s links to stock theft, Mosweu says while stock theft is a real problem in their parts, the businessman has never been arraigned before his customary court. He implored the police to heed concerns of farmers in the area about the need to expeditiously prosecute and investigate stock theft.