Sunday, February 28, 2021

BNYC in breach of procurement procedures

Fresh information has emerged that Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) chaired by Louis Sibanda bypassed its tendering procedure when purchasing 17 top of the range vehicles late last year. The BNYC’s procurement policy is that procurement of goods or services exceeding at least P200 000 in value should tendered since that is mandatory and such a tender should be floated.

The situation is not helped by the fact that the BNYC does not have a tender committee. It is understood that the car dealers would visit the BNYC office to negotiate prices with some members of the executive without the involvement of the entire board. This has resulted in suspicion among some staff members that those who negotiated for prices could “have benefited in one way or the other.” While Sunday Standard was unable to establish where BNYC purchased models of other vehicles, the Council purchased at least six 2008 Nissan vans from South Africa. The loan was sourced from a bank that specializes in vehicle financing.

Commenting on whether the tender for the cars purchased by BNYC was floated the Council’s Executive Director Benjamin Raletsatsi was non-committal. “With the vehicles we sent out a request for quotations from all major retailers for the specific vehicles we wanted. These were; four wheel drive diesel twin cabs for our district offices, sedans and a small truck for the farm. For the four wheels drive Nissan came cheaper than Isuzu and Toyota while Kia Cerato was cheaper than Toyota and other brands,” he said adding that it was then decided they source the four wheel drive from Nissan the Sedans from Kia and the single cab vans from Isuzu.

“The Director’s car was the cheapest SUV as compared to other brands,” Raletsatsi said. Pressed for further clarification and to explain the method of procurement Raletsatsi said, “Our method of procurement was selective procurement whereby we sourced for quotations from local dealerships and procured from those of lower prices. It is for this reason that various vehicles makes were procured from different dealership.”

The prices of the cars were not immediately made available to the Sunday Standard. This publication sought to establish the cost of the vehicles and whether The Ministry has since ordered its officers to impound the 17 vehicles that were purchased illegally late last year as they were bought using a loan that was not approved by the Ministry. The fleet is currently parked at Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Glen Valley Barracks. Malikongwa further instructed Raletsatsi to collect BNYC Chairman Louis Sibanda’s vehicle and cease the council’s fleet disposal.

As claims of financial impropriety keep on cropping up, there are also allegations that a family in Sehophe is awaiting payment of claim from one of the insurance companies which is offering group life cover to BNYC staff. It is further claimed that the payment amounting to close to half a million was paid by the insurance company to BNYC but the money has disappeared into thin air.

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