The Botswana Police finds itself in a dilemma over the purchase and subsequent payment of 200 Personal Computers (PC) which have been rendered useless because they do not meet specifications for use by the police personnel.
The Botswana Police Information and Technology (IT) department earlier this year awarded a tender for the supply of 500 computers to Mitel, a company that supplies stationery, IT equipment and computer accessories. Mitel supplied the 500 computers and is said to have been fully paid more than P4 million for the purchase. However, of the 500 computers, only 300 met the set specifications in the tender and the other 200 have been piled up in a store room for several months now without use. The computers cannot be dispatched out for use in Police offices as they do not meet all the required specifications.
Mitel was chosen out of the more than 20 companies that had bided for the multi million Pula tender. The case only recently received some attention from police superiors after juniors at the IT department complained of seemingly selective treatment given to Mitel given that all along many other companies were forced to recall their supplies whenever they did not meet the set out specifications.
The police bosses at the IT department are said to have tried to sweep the matter under the carpet until their juniors mounted pressure on them. It is still to be decided if the Botswana police should just count its losses and purchase more computers or demand a refund from Mitel. Reached for comment, Mitel Managing Director Michael Nkane referred this publication to the Police but went on to say there are some people within the Police who are hell bent on tarnishing his company’s image. “I don’t think it was necessary for those people to rush to newspapers when there is DCEC and DIS.
I would understand if they were saying I bribed people to get the tender. There are people out there who just want to destroy me and I know them”, Nkane said in parting. Quizzed on what the Botswana Police was doing about the computers, Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Christopher Mbulawa could only say “It is true that there is such an allegation and the Police Service is conducting an internal enquiry to probe the truth”.