Monday, January 17, 2022

Road project pits councilors against secretary

Tension between the South East District Council (SEDC) councilors and the council secretary this week saw the people’s representatives decline an invitation to assess progress on internal roads.

Councilors are apprehensive the visit could somehow land them into being used to rubberstamp the shoddy work of the contractor by the council’s administrative head.

The contractor, Zakhem Construction, is to leave site on Thursday after pocketing over P100 million.
Councilors from three political parties, Botswana Congress Party, Botswana Democratic Party and Botswana Movement for Democracy, collectively fault SEDC council secretary, Kesentseng Kebabonye, for failing to engage the contractor over poor workmanship on some of the roads in the district.

“We have raised concerns that the storm water drainage system is not only shoddy but incomplete.

There are no culverts in some areas where they should. In some areas there are no road markings. We are awaiting a report from the council engineer and our consultants, Pula Consultants, about the current work progress,” said one councilor.

Councilors want to be guaranteed that someone will clean the mess created by the contractor and want to know who is going to compensate some residents for structural damage that resulted from the road infrastructure development.

Another councilor has alleged that the council’s Finance Committee to date does not know the latest amount of money the contractor has claimed, adding that other issues of retention have not been explicitly provided by the administrative head of the council.

The council secretary declined to comment on the concerns raised by councilors, insisting on a questionnaire. When asked general questions about progress regarding the construction of internal roads in the district council, including the cost of the project, Kebabonye said she would need to do research work before she can provide such information.

The Council chairperson, Anne Joubert, was not reachable by press time.

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