- Molale calls Acting CEO to emergency meeting
- BHC executive cars and laptops attached to defray P5.3m debt
- Acting CEO allegedly refused to authorise payment
The Minister of Transport and Public Works, Eric Molale, has put pressure on the executive management of Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) to explain how assets of the country’s leading housing agency came to be attached and were almost auctioned off to cover a debt of P5.3 million owed to Hitecon Construction Company.
More than five executive management cars and laptops were impounded and attached on Wednesday last week following a writ of execution handed to Hitecon Pty Ltd for a P5.3 million debt owed for construction work.
Informed sources say recommendations to pay the company and other contractors were long made but the Acting CEO, Nkaelang Matenge, has allegedly refused to authorise the payments without stating reasons.
While BHC would not discuss the matter and referred enquiries to its legal department, The Botswana Gazette is reliably informed that Minister Molale was livid upon receiving news of BHC assets being attached and called Matenge to an emergency meeting.
“They were asked to sort it out as a matter of urgency,” said a source who cannot be named. “I can confirm to you that the company has been paid and the assets that were attached have been returned.”
It is said a number of construction companies that are also owed by BHC have threatened to follow the course taken by Hitecon.
Meanwhile, inside sources say awarding BHC construction projects is riddled with corruption that Matenge has vowed to fight.
“He has been asking a lot of questions behind the scenes and is keen on cleaning up BHC,” said one source. “A number of officers have been put through hearings about this.”
Worse in scale
BHC has been in a similar situation before, although worse in scale of the debt owed. The public housing agency’s assets worth nearly P354 million, houses and executive management vehicles among them, were attached by sheriffs instructed by Patrick Matlho of Matlho Attorneys for a debt owed to CPM Architects.
The consultancy company had been engaged by BHC for construction of a Botswana Defence Force training school at Paje near Serowe.
The assets were later returned after BHC and the CPM Architects agreed on a payment plan.