Thursday, October 29, 2020

Roads Dept falls under multiple probe

A web of crime busting agencies has descended on the Department of Roads following allegations of corruption on the awarding of a number of agencies.

Sunday Standard has information that the Directorate of Intelligence Services and the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime have started to peruse information on how some of the multi-million Pula road construction contracts were awarded.

These include the Sebina/Masunga road which is currently under construction at a cost of P83 million.

Also under the radar is the road linking the A1 highway to a facility owned by DIS in Sebele a few kilometers to the north of Gaborone next to Phakalane suburbs.

An independent audit of the costs has revealed that Sebele junction road, which is less than two kilometres, was constructed at a total value of P6 million.

This is over three times the cost that an independent engineer has said it was worth.

Before the multi-pronged probe, a number of contractors had written letters of complaints to President Ian Khama alleging corruption by officials at the Department of Roads.

It was alleged that certain contractors were favoured at the exclusion of others.

Other letters were also copied to the intelligence arm of the Botswana Defence Force.
Upon receiving information on the allegations, President Ian Khama instructed a senior member of the DIS to lead the investigations.

One of the letters to President Khama, of which Sunday Standard is in possession of, alleges that Public Procurement and asset Disposal Board had over time been consistently misled in its adjudication of the tenders given out by the Department of Roads.

“It is an open secret that projects are recommended and given to preferred contractors even before they are advertised in the Roads Department… We therefore submit our present complaint and grievances with conviction that the Board and all concerned authorities shall act accordingly to ensure fairness and justice in the tender award system as well as curb corruption practices from unscrupulous and greedy public officials who blatantly disregard public service values,” reads a letter to PPADB.

The same letter has been copied to Senior Private Secretary to the President, DCEC and the Directorate of Public Service Management who are employers of the civil servants.

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