Sunday, October 25, 2020

Debswana in HIV/AIDS consultancy row

The spokesperson of the Debswana Mining Company, Grace Mosinyi, has defended her organasation’s decision to award an AIDS/HIV impact assessment tender to a South African company instead of a Botswana company, allegedly against the advice of the company’s AIDS/HIV steering committee.

In her short response to a Sunday Standard questionnaire, Mosinyi confirmed the award of the tender to a South African company and said that all the necessary procedures were followed in the award of the tender. She advised that companies which feel aggrieved by the award should contact them on the matter.

She did not answer other questions posed on the matter. Sources close to the issue disclosed that the company’s AIDS/HIV steering committee had recommended a Gaborone-based company known as Horizon Ogilvy and Mather on the strength that the company was locally based and had better knowledge of the situation regarding the disease as compared to the South African one.

It is said the decision to contract the local company was later turned down by Debswana senior management who preferred the South African company with little or no knowledge of the disease situation in Botswana.

The source said, Debswana’s AIDS/HIV steering committee has since reported its misgivings with the result of the work done by the South African company, which has cost around P200, 000 so far. The tender is estimated to be worth millions of pula.

”This just shows how the company has little regard for local skills in preference to foreign ones even in cases where local skills are available.
To do that they even disregarded advice from their own technical advisers; it is a very sad scenario,” said the source.

The Managing Director of Horizon Ogilvy and Mather, Mathata Gasennelwe, refused to comment on the issue.

Companies in the country carry out AIDS/HIV assessments in their companies to see how their companies have been affected by the disease and how the infection can be contained.

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