Kweneng District councilors have questioned the awarding of a P40 million tender to a company called Rural Metro Botswana, owned by ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane.
It has since emerged that the company was awarded the multi million Pula project through direct single tender process to construct a fire station and emergency services in Kweneng. The councilors further argue that the tender was never advertised, did not go through the council tendering process and through the relevant council structures.
Sunday Standard has established that Rural Metro Botswana is the subsidy of Rural Metro South Africa.
It is understood that Rural Metro Botswana was established in 2013. Ntuane confirmed to this publication that he owns Rural Metro Botswana. He declined to be drawn into discussing details and directed this publication to council management.
According to a report passed to the Sunday Standard, a delegation headed by the council attorney Yamikani Patson on 12th February 2014 visited Rural Metro, South Africa in order to form the basis of negotiations for establishing fire stations and emergency service in the district.
Upon their arrival from South Africa, the council delegation recommended that the tender should be worth P39 876 964.00.
The Council delegation also recommended that the Kweneng District Council should outsource the fire services and emergency rescue services to Rural Metro Botswana for the Kweneng District, based on the risk assessment report undertaken by the Rural Metro South Africa.
They also recommended that Kweneng District Council should outsource the fire station services for all Districts in phases beginning with Molepolole for the year 2014/2015 and Letlhakeng and Mogoditshane commencing for the year 2015/2016.
The delegation also recommended that the council management should be given authority to immediately commence procurement and signing of the contract with Rural Metro Botswana.
Councilor for Thamaga, Tona Selala said they were suspicious when the council management refused to give them the profile of the company that was awarded the tender.
“They refused to furnish the council with the profile of the company and when it was formed. We strongly believe that the decision to award the tender to Rural Metro Botswana was based on wrong reasons and we strongly believe that if the information of the company awarded the tender was made available to the council the council could have reached a different decision,” he said.
Selala added that “As councilors we are entitled to making sure that all the council structures perform their duties accordingly. We welcome the developments but we will not allow a situation whereby the right channels are not followed. We still do not understand why the council management decided to outsource the service in South Africa while we have fire stations in Botswana.”
Selala said the recommendation from the report as presented by the delegation that went to South Africa was compiled by council management based on the report compiled by Rural Metro South Africa. The report was never made available to the council.
“We believe that this Rural Metro South Africa report is based on the current situation in South African Municipalities. What is most worrying is that this South African company never visited our district. They have no idea how our fire stations are operating in Botswana. As councilors we have no authority to say to council who to give tenders but it becomes a concern if the relevant structures are not followed in the process,” he said.
Kweneng District Council Secretary Wazha Tema would not respond to questions from the Sunday Standard saying, “I am not in the office. I will only be at the office on Tuesday. I will take your questions to the relevant authorities”.