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DIS footprints in P54 million project raise eye brows

The involvement of the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS) in the construction of the Mahalapye Prison fence has raised eyes bows after the tender was awarded to the company which has been perennially benefiting from the intelligence tenders.

Although the project fell under the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security, this week Weekend Post was informed by the ministry officials that the project was coordinated by the DIS as well as the Botswana Prison Service with the support of Department of Building and Engineering Services. DIS is under a different ministry, at Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration.

The project, according to the ministry of defence’s procurement plan submitted to Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Board (PPADB), was estimated to cost P8 million but it was eventually built at the cost of P54.3 million. The project was awarded to Rosita Enterprises (Pty) Ltd trading as Defence Concepts Botswana through the selective tendering process. According to Ikwatlhaeng Bagopi, the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security, the procurement method was through expression of interest by potential bidders, with only two companies, the other being Mapande Investment showing capability, resulting in their invitation to tender.

The company which won the tender, Defence Concepts had long documented close relations with DIS as their preferred supplier, winning multimillion tenders during the reign of Colonel Isaac Kgosi as Director General of the spy organisation.
Kgosi’s association with the company has been called into question on numerous occasions, with some alleging that the company was unfairly benefiting from government tenders under the disguise of direct appointment or selective tendering, which closed out other competitors.  

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The Mahalapye Prison Fencing project entails; demolition/ dismantling of existing razor mesh fence backfill and cart away rubble from site; supply, delivery and erection of 600mm high outer perimeter fence; supply delivery and erection of 3000mm high inner perimeter fence; supply, delivery and erection of 3000mm high partitioning perimeter fence; supply, delivery and installation of security gate; as well as supply and pour concrete to foundations.

PROJECT DELAYS AND INCCURRED EXPENSES

Despite conflicting information regarding the status of the project, Bagopi insists that the project is 100 percent complete pending cleaning of the site. The project commenced on the 24 of February 2017, with an anticipated completion date being 25 September 2017. However, the project could not be completed within the initial agreed date, leading to an extension to the 25 February 2018. Government has so far paid the contractor P48. 5 million, with the final amount expected to be P54.3 million.

The P54.3 million that government will eventual pay to the contractor is P46 million more than what the Ministry of Defence had initially estimated in their procurement plan submitted to the PPADB. The primary mandate of PPADB is to adjudicate and award tenders for Central Government and any other institutions specified under the Act for the delivery of works, services and supplies. However, tenders under P300 million in values are delegated to Ministerial Tender Committees (MTCs).

Explaining the occurrences which led to delay and government incurring the cost, Bagopi said: “The project was delayed due to additional time to cover those works and late delivery of material from external suppliers.” Bagopi indicated that government incurred additional cost because of increase in quantities of material, which in turn affected the programme.

“At present, there is no extension of time with cost, if any they will be discussed during the final payment. Project is now due for final measurement in which we will consider liabilities for late delivery of the project to either party,” he said. “Initially when the project scope was developed, the new fence was planned in such a way that it was going to be built over the footprint of the old fence.” Bagopi argued that this would have required that the old fence be removed first before constructing the new fence.

“This would have compromised the security of the prison facility,” he said. “The other issue was existence of under-ground services that also contributed to moving the fence outward by 7 metres. This created an increase in the length of the fence.”

PROJECT: FENCING FOR PRISON FACILITIES-MAHALAPYE PRISON
ESTIMATED COST: P8,000,000
CONTRACT SUM: P49,670,953
VARIATION AMOUNT: P4,644,393
REVISED CONTRACT SUM: P54,315,347

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Botswana’s Legislative Milestone: Championing Disability Rights

27th February 2024

In a significant stride towards inclusivity, Botswana’s National Assembly has ratified the groundbreaking Persons with Disability Act. This legislation is a cornerstone in protecting the rights and promoting the economic well-being of individuals with disabilities

At the heart of this act is the creation of two pivotal bodies: the National Disability Coordinating Office and the National Disability Council. These institutions are set to revolutionize the integration of disability affairs into the national fabric, as outlined by the Minister for State President, Kabo Morwaeng. Morwaeng highlighted the alignment of this act with the global Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), underlining Botswana’s commitment to international standards in disability rights.

During his address to Parliament, Morwaeng disclosed Botswana’s inaugural CRPD report submission to the UN, underscoring the nation’s dedication to global dialogue on disability rights. Furthermore, he unveiled plans for a comprehensive assessment to understand the socio-economic realities of disabled individuals and their families. This initiative, complemented by the strengthening of existing programs, aims to empower this community, ensuring their integration and prosperity in society

Morwaeng’s call to action was clear. He urged a collective shift in developmental agendas to accommodate and prioritize disability issues, advocating for an inclusive societal framework.

An ambitious budget of P35,631,600 has been allocated to bridge gaps in Disability Economic Empowerment, alongside critical studies and the establishment of the National Emergency Operations Centre. Concluding his presentation, Morwaeng appealed to fellow governmental departments to allocate funds diligently to fulfill CRPD and Persons with Disabilities obligations, marking a new chapter in Botswana’s legislative history towards inclusive development.

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Kabo Matlho’s Majestic Reentry Descends Upon a Solo Venture

27th February 2024

Kabo Matlho, a luminary whose fame once graced the grand finale of My Star, is poised to enchant the music realm once more with an upcoming solo venture—an RnB and Hip-Hop Extended Play (EP)—heralding his grand resurgence after a hiatus that spoke volumes.

During a telephonic confab with our editors, the virtuoso, navigating the world from the confines of his wheelchair, confided that while the exact launch date of the EP remains shrouded in mystery, he is fervently working towards a mid-2024 reveal. Matlho shared the trials of his odyssey, especially the cold shoulder he received from the industry ambushes, crediting the harsh exclusion to his physical predicament.

“The scene calls me once more, for the absence has been both a sabbatical and a shadow. The road for an artist, enveloped in the embrace of wheels, is strewn with fewer welcomes and scarce stages. Yet, herein I forge my return, with the precise hour of my EP’s birth still nestled in the coming chapters, assuredly within this year’s embrace,” Matlho unveiled with a determination that shone bright.

 

Probed on his choice for a solo EP, the melody weaver expressed a desire to not only rekindle his essence but to stand solitary under the spotlight, nurturing his brand to vigor before possibly blending it with the talents of others—once his career phoenix rises anew from its ashes.

Elaborating on his Extended Play, Matlho shared visions of its essence, where the soul of RnB intertwines with the spirited rhythm of Hip-Hop, crafting an audial tapestry that not only returns to his roots but also ventures into previously uncharted territories of his musical domain. With resilience, Matlho faces the crossroads of his artistry, embracing the whisperings of Hip-Hop that tease the boundaries of his comfort, embarking on this path with a heart both apprehensive and ablaze.

 

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BODANSA strikes gold with a handsome P45K windfall from Turnstar Holdings

27th February 2024

The Botswana DanceSport Association (BODANSA) has been graced with a financial boon of P45,000 courtesy of Turnstar Holdings. This generous endowment is earmarked for the illustrious Botswana International Dance Sport Grand Prix Championships, which are scheduled to animate Gaborone from Friday to Saturday.

At a media engagement held early today, BODANSA’s Marketing Maestro, Tiro Ntwayagae, shared that Turnstar Holdings Limited has bestowed a gift of P45,000 towards the grand spectacle.

“We are thrilled to announce that this backing will enable us to orchestrate a cultural soirée at the Game City Marque locale, a night brimming with cultural fervor set for March 1, 2024, from 6pm to the stroke of midnight.

This enchanting space will also serve as the battleground for the preliminaries of traditional dance ensembles—spanning the rhythmically rich Setapa to the euphoric beats of Sebirwa, the spirited Seperu, the heavenly Hosana, and more—in a competition folded into the Traditional Dance Groups Category. The ensemble that dances into the judges’ hearts will clinch a grand prize of P10,000,” elaborated Ntwayagae.

He further illuminated that the cultural eve would not only celebrate traditional melodies but also the fresh beats of contemporary dance variants including Hip Hop, Sbujwa, Amapiano, among others, in a dazzling display of modern dance mastery.

Moreover, these championships carry the prestigious recognition by the World DanceSport Federation as a qualifying round for the Breakdance category for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “This is a monumental opportunity for athletes to leap towards their Olympic dreams during one of the penultimate qualifiers,” underscored Ntwayagae.

Looking ahead to March 2, 2024, the festivities will propel into the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Arena for the championship’s climactic showdowns encompassing Breakdance, Latin, and Ballroom Dancing.

 

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