NIGEL’S P100 000/DAY ENQUIRY

NIGEL’S P100 000/DAY ENQUIRY

The wheels of the BCL enquiry grind slowly, and at around P100 000/day it is the taxpayer who has to foot the bill for that painfully laborious process. The BCL saga is proving to be an expensive exercise as fees for the liquidator, lawyers and other service providers engaged in sifting through the remnants of the once mighty mining company mount.

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• Provisional liquidator fees average half a million a week
• Legal fees so far more than P4m
• Mining experts also engaged to probe BCL

The wheels of the BCL enquiry grind slowly, and at around P100 000/day it is the taxpayer who has to foot the bill for that painfully laborious process. The BCL saga is proving to be an expensive exercise as fees for the liquidator, lawyers and other service providers engaged in sifting through the remnants of the once mighty mining company mount. Provisional liquidator Nigel Dixon-Warren and his team have so far averaged P2m/month, or around half a million a week, since he was engaged in October last year to August this year.

The KPMG Botswana Senior partner was engaged in October 2016 when the liquidation process was initiated and has since then to August 2017, set back the taxpayer a cool P22 012 399.88. His monthly fees range from a million and a half to over two million Pula in some months. That averages more than P100 000 a working day. For example, in October 2016, the month he commenced his work on the embattled mine, the tax payer had to fork out P1 523 930.89, for the 554 hours his team put into the project. The October 2016 was the lowest monthly fee the financial expert claimed from the government.

The following month after that November and December 2016, he walked away with P2 590 083.29 and P2 876 915.29 respectively. His auditing firm KPMG Botswana and other KPMG subsidiaries cumulatively have claimed P5 425 143 so far, by end of August 2017. According to his report, the figure covers services such as producing the Status Assessment Report, as well as forensic and tax services.

He also engaged some of the top lawyers, in Botswana’s Bookbinder Business Law, South Africa’s Webber Wentzel and the United Kingdom’s Stevens & Bolton LLP, at hefty fees. Since appointing these legal firms, both BLL and S&B have taken home P3 963 006, while the South African firm took P645 140, totalling P4 608 146. On the other hand the mining experts Mineral Corporation Consultancy were paid P3.5m for their services to date which included designing the Care & Maintenance plan for the mine. Dixon-Warren says he is still months away from finishing the job he started, an ominous revelation to the bean counters at Government Enclave.

 

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Motlogelwa is one of the foremost investigative journalists in Botswana with a decade of journalistic work. He cut his teeth at the country’s major private daily Mmegi, where he covered some of the most important stories in contemporary Botswana, including the corruption case of the late MD of the state diamond company Louis Nchindo, the extra-judicial killing of John Kalafatis, and in recent times, he led the investigation into the financial interests of Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security. He has written extensively on investigations and procurement, corporate governance as well as public finance. His current focus is investigations into the procurement procedures of state companies and departments.