Tuesday, March 5, 2024

BDC, SPEDU relocated from Ministry of Finance to that of Trade

Amid a series of corruption claims at the Botswana Development Corporation, cabinet has issued a directive that the corporation, currently run from the ministry of Finance and Development Planning, be relocated to the ministry of Trade and Industry, The Telegraph has learnt.

According to insiders at government enclave, President Khama has lost faith in officials at the ministry of Finance to continue coordinating things at BDC.

BDC is a wholly owned investment arm of Government created in 1970 to help in economic diversification.

The relocation is reported to be at an advanced stage and officials from the ministries have been commissioned to start the relevant paper work.

In an interview, the minister of Trade and Industry Dorcus Makgatho-Malesu denied that the issue was already a done deal but stated that what was ongoing was a discussion on whether to relocate BDC and Selibe Phikwe’s Economic Diversification Unit (SPEDU) to the ministry of Trade and Industry.
“We are just exploring, I can confirm that we are going to be having discussions on that subject,” said Makgatho-Malesu.

She said that the issue was not a cause for alarm but a continuation of the integration process that has been ongoing.

“To me it’s a continuation of rationalization,” she said.

She said that the issue was a matter that government was to dispense of as soon as possible.
For months now, the BDC has been on a back foot with allegations of corruption flying thick and fast as one contractor after another questioned the corporation’s tendering system.

Last week, the Lobatse High Court halted the commencement of BDC’s P300 million project of the Botswana innovation hub after questioning BDC’s award of a quantity surveying tender.

The corporation had been dragged to court by Mmile Mhutsiwa & Associates Ltd, together with Davis Langdon Botswana Ltd querying the award of a tender to Fitzwilliams Partnership and urging the court to suspend the quantity surveying work until the issue surrounding the tender award is settled by the court.


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