Botswana Power Corporation employee Kenneth Maruapula has pleaded guilty to charges of stealing.
On different occasions between December 2010 and March 2012 Maruapula, 34 stole money amounting to P567 145.86 during his employment tenure as an accountant with the financially struggling power utility
A Francistown based private lawyer Kenneth Obeng however tried to pass the blame onto BPC.
When mitigating for his client Obeng accused struggling Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) of administrative laxity saying which he argued that it led some of the corporation’s employees into serious temptation.
Obeng further alleged that his client was poorly supervised at the power utility company despite the fact that his job entitled him to have access to the company’s cheque books and large sums of money.
According to court records, Maruapula issued cheques to himself and cashed them for personal gain. He was only caught after 15 months following a thorough audit by government officials.
“He is a young man, only 34, yet he was tasked to perform a tempting job,” explained Obeng, adding that Maruapula joined the power utility way back in 2003 as a mere cashier and rose through the ranks to become the company accountant.
“My client was poorly supervised, your Worship,” said the Ghanaian-born lawyer. He said this (poor supervision) led him into temptation.
Obeng fell short of saying that it was remiss of BPC not to supervise Maruapula time and again. As an ambitious young man who heeded the government’s call for locals to venture into commercial farming, Obeng said the accused person was easily tempted.
Efforts to get a comment from the BPC officials drew a blank. Spencer Moreri, BPC’s Public Relations Officer was constantly said to be out of the office.
Atina Mandigo prosecuted the matter. He is expected back in court on May 7th 2014 for sentencing.