The Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime has been brought on board to quell hostilities emanating from the procurement of the electronic ear tag traceability worth millions of pula.
The DCEC was brought on board as the country was planning to move away from the bolus traceability system, which resulted in Botswana’s beef to be delisted from the European Market as it was evident that the bolus traceability was not effective.
The procurement was blocked after whistle blowers approached the DCEC to stop the procurement of the electronic ear tags, alleging that there was underhand tactics that were meant to benefit some individuals within the ministry.
In an interview, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Permanent Secretary, Micus Chimbombi, stated that there were certain individuals who approached the DCEC saying that there was no transparency regarding the procurement of the ear tags.
Chimbombi indicated that he never came to know those individuals who had reported the matter to DCEC because their identities were never revealed.
He indicated that the move by those individuals held the nation at ransom as the country was planning to move away from bolus, which experienced hiccups after its introduction.
He said that the feud has delayed the introduction of ear tags traceability, which could impact negatively on the beef industry. He was hopeful that the introduction of ear tags would become fully operational at the end of the year after they identified the company. Chimbombi stated that he had approached DCEC trying to convince them that there was no underhandedness in the procurement but they were advised to involve the Public Procurement and Assert Disposal Board.
Chimbombi further stated that they had since approached the PPADB after their idea to engage an international company failed.
He added that the tender had since been floated for interested companies to come forward.
Chimbombi said the ministry was to start the process of changing the cattle identification system from bolus to ear tags in May. The ministry came up with the new system to help the country meet the requirements of the European Union market, which proved difficult under the bolus system.