Sunday, October 25, 2020

Parly asks about BDF tenders given to cabinet members and relatives

Mystery surrounds BDF tenders that were awarded to Cabinet members, Botswana Democratic Party leaders and their close relatives between 1990 and 2000.

Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Lesego Motsumi, could not explain to Parliament how several companies owned by leaders, friends and relatives of the ruling BDP, which won tenders to supply the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) with vehicles, uniforms, food and boats knew about these tenders since they were never advertised.

Responding to an oral follow up question by Francistown South MP Wynter Mmolotsi, Motsumi conceded that during the period 1900 and 2000 BDF tenders were not advertised as they were considered sensitive. The minister, however, stated that she had no explanation as to how the companies in question knew about these tenders.

“Madam Speaker I do not know how they got to know,” she stated.

Motsumi revealed to parliament this week that, during the time in question, companies belonging to ruling party bigwigs, namely Satar Dada, Charles Tibone, Anthony and Tshekedi Khama who are President Ian Khama’s brothers, among others supplied BDF with vehicles.

She told parliament that a total of fourteen companies were awarded tenders to supply BDF with vehicles.

These companies include Lesedi Motors, owned by Assistant minister Tibone, and BDP treasurer Dada, Naledi Motors, owned Dada, Yusurf Dada and Riyaz Arbi, Gaborone Delta whose directors are Dada, Tibone and Yusuf Dada. Motor Centre, which is also owned by Dada, is listed as one of the suppliers.
The Khama brothers’ company, Seleka Spring (Pty) Ltd, appears alongside other suppliers like Kalahari Ford, Fork Lift Sales, and Zambezi Motors.

Records on ownership of several of the companies that supplied BDF with food and uniform are not available.

Motsumi informed parliament up to 10 companies supplied uniforms while 87 companies provided BDF with food.

Motsumi stated that the tenders were awarded by the Central Tender Board, through its official structures of special tender committee for supply of vehicles and boats and specialized uniform items and the district commissioners offices, which at the time procured the supply of food.
In a brief interview after the question was answered, Mmolotsi revealed that he was not satisfied with the minister’s response to his follow up question as he wants to know how the suppliers got to know of the tenders since they were not advertised.

“I intend to notice a written question to get to the bottom of this issue,” he told the Sunday Standard.

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