Francistown councillors on Monday set aside their political rivalry and minced no words in attacking government over its tendency to award tenders to non-qualifying contractors who ultimately fail to deliver quality projects despite the huge investment costs.
Responding to an update report on the re-construction of the Francistown/Tonota Road by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Thato Raphaka, the councillors expressed displeasure over contractors who continue to milk government of millions of dollars and failing to deliver quality projects.
“The government seems to be fond of these fly-by-night contractors who continue to deliver poor projects and yet milk the government of millions of pula. This is evident from projects around the country, which have since failed, especially projects undertaken by Chinese contractors.
Consultants engaged to manage these projects should keep a vigilant eye on the contractors as they are the eyes of government, or else the country is going to lose billions of Pula,” warned BCP councillor, Robert Mosweu of Boikhutso Ward.
Former mayor and BMD councillor, Shadreck Nyeku, also accused some consultants of colluding with contractors who end up delivering poor quality projects.
┬áHe said government should not just award tenders basing on the cutting of costs, but should also look at the credibility and record of that contractor.
“Government should always be careful when it awards tenders to contractors because it is continuing to lose millions of Pula while the contractors are not delivering as expected,” he said.
Newly elected BDP Monarch South councillor, Godfrey Kaelo, also took issue with the habit of government awarding tenders based on cost reduction rather than quality. He shared same sentiments with other councillors that it is high time government became more discriminating when awarding tenders.
In response Raphaka assured the councillors that his ministry will do its best in making sure that the contractors deliver and meet their contract with government. He rebuffed claims by the councillors that there is poor consultation adding that they have always been open for consultation with the councillors.
“By coming to address the full council today, it is a clear sign that we are consulting. Our offices are also open for those who want to further consult,” he said.