Botswana: Irregularities in Tender Process Delay Projects

Sehithwa — Residents of Sehithwa have learnt that irregularities in the tendering process has contributed to the delay in community projects implementation.

Ngami MP, who is also Assistant Minister of Basic Education, Mr Thato Kwerepe said this when responding to some complaints raised by residents about the delay in the construction of the long awaited service centre and completion of the kgotla shelter.

Residents decried that they had long been promised a service centre, but that no construction had been taking place despite their efforts to secure and de-bush a piece of land for the service centre. It was supposed to be constructed through constituency funding.

They complained that the village was lacking behind in developments. Kgosi Boitiro Dithapo concurred with residents and complained about the delay to complete the kgotla shelter.

He said it seemed public servants were taking residents for granted as they made empty promises, citing the service centre which dates back to 2013.

He said they were informed that the contractor would be on site on 17 June but that did not happen.

He said he wished the promise made recently by Assistant Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services to de-bush land at Lengana area could be fulfilled because residents were eager to develop their plots

Mr Kwerepe explained that it was government procedure that projects had to go through the tendering process which took long.

With regard to the mentioned projects, he said those who were responsible in the tendering process made mistakes which caused conflicts between companies which tendered hence the delay in implementation of the projects.

He said it had been alleged that some officers leaked information to some bidders in exchange for rewards leading to companies which did not win lodging complaints with the courts.

Mr Kwerepe revealed the service centre project had been allocated a budget from the constituency funding, and that currently the matter was before court.

He pleaded with residents to be patient while awaiting finalisation of the matter.

He concurred with residents that the service centre project was long overdue, but differed with residents that their village had some developments as residents had access to essential services such as schools, a clinic and tarred roads while some were graveled.

Village Development Committee treasurer, Ms Latelang Goitsemang appreciated efforts by some residents in the uptake of government programmes such as poverty eradication and LIMID among others.

She revealed that 59 beneficiaries had been assisted with small stock under the Poverty Eradication Programme, 38 benefited from sewing, four in catering while 433 benefited from LIMID and 56 were in the waiting list.

She said other projects such as laundry, salon, carpentry and pot and tent hiring were doing well. Ms Goitsemang decried that young people were still dragging their feet to utilise government initiatives, saying to date none had benefited from the Youth Development Fund in the village.

She also appreciated efforts by government to assist needy persons, noting that nine had benefited from the housing project and that 89 needy students were also assisted.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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