Saturday, October 24, 2020

DCEC probes ESP projects

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has launched an extensive investigating into the controversial Economic Stimulus Program (ESP) tenders.

This follows a number of complaints that the scheme, widely believed to be President Khama’s brain child is riddled with corruption.

Among ESP projects currently under investigation is the P51 million road construction project to Bothakga Burrow Botswana.

It is understood that The DCEC is investigating the Ministry of Lands and Housing following complaints over the award of the four kilometre road construction project that links Glen Valley with Phakalane in a bid to reduce traffic from A1 road.

It is understood that Bothakga Burrow Botswana submitted an unsolicited bid to construct the road and submitted designs to the ministry for consideration. The ministry was allegedly advised to put the project through a competitive bidding tender but instead awarded the contract to Bothakga Burrow though a single source tender process.

Responding to Sunday Standard queries the Ministry’s spokesperson Shirley Tsheko confirmed that Bothakga Burrow Botswana was awarded the tender with another company Landmark Project as the subcontractor.

It has since emerged that the tender was never advertised and as a result there was no bidding. When asked how many companies had initially tendered for the project Tsheko explained that “this was a restricted bidding.”

Tsheko denied allegations that the project did not go through tendering process.

“We are not aware of such allegations; this project was awarded following the approved tendering process. As you may know there are several methods of procurement under the PPADB Act, amongst them; open, selective or direct procurement.  Any procurement process may be adopted if justified as long as it is within the parameters of the PPAD Act,” she said.

She also confirmed that the project will cost the Ministry over P51 million.

Contacted for comment Ignatios Gangaidzo, of Bothakga Burrow Botswana would not comment referring all queries to the ministry. The project is among a number of ESP projects being investigated by the DECEC.

It is understood that almost all ministries that have awarded tenders under the ESP program will be ‘rounded’ up by DCEC following numerous complaints made to the DCEC.

DCEC was unable to respond to Sunday Standard queries at the time of going to press. 

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