Alindo Engineering and General Maintenance (Pty) Ltd is a very lucky company indeed. The company keeps on getting jobs with the Department of Technical Services (DTS) but the company rarely ever complete jobs. In the last three years they have been given jobs to the tune of P78 million and only one of the four projects the company was awarded is near completion.
Alindo Engineering is owned by aspiring Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) treasurer. The project completion for the projects stands at 25% (two years overdue for completion) – 90% (two years overdue for completion) – 3.5% (behind schedule by seven months) – and 100 % (final report yet to be handed over).
Pressure from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has forced the DTS to instruct government lawyers to demand over P6 million owed to Government from the first project. Two other projects have also been red flagged for termination because of poor implementation albeit he has been paid million as part payment for the undelivered projects. According to records, Alindo Engineering keeps on getting jobs despite its record of failing to deliver projects.
The 25% progress after three years
He was given a job for the construction of 4No. Double Storey 4 units staff houses for Maiteko Junior secondary School at the tune of P18 894 333. 47 on 31 March 2014 and he was expected to complete the projected on 05-01-2015 and later date was revised to 19-01-2015. The project as things stand is still at 25 percent completion despite the fact that he has already been paid P8 933, 077.59.
Explaining the back and forth, DTS writes: “The contractor abandoned the project since September 2015 to date. He owes the Government P6, 188, 884.01 which accrued from rejected works and unpaid mobilization. On 2nd May 2017 DTS wrote to the contractor to state how he is going to pay the Government the money he is due to pay. He wrote back on 26th May 2017 stating that the money will be paid by a proposed assignee.
The mobilization was waived to stabilise the contractor’s cash flow problems with a hope the contractor will complete the project. This decision was guided by FIDIC, (The International Federation of Consulting Engineers) clause 3.5 which state that “the conditions provide that the Engineer shall proceed to agree or determine any matter, the Engineer shall consult with each party in an endeavor to reach agreement. If agreement is not achieved, the Engineer shall make a fair determination in accordance with the contract, taking due regard of all relevant circumstances.” Attorney General’s Chambers will be contacted to assist in recovering the money owed.
The only completed project
Alindo Engineering and General Maintenance Pty Ltd also worked on the construction of staff houses at Marakanelo JSS at Ncojane. The contract sum is P10, 714, 659.20 and the contractor was paid P5, 077, 897.25. The project was awarded on 10th April 2014 and was expected to be completed on 05 December 2014 but the completion date was later revised to 25 March 2015. While the status of the project is that it has been completed, the briefing notes indicate that the final account for the project will be concluded and finalized in the second quarter of 2017/2018.
Stuck at 90% progress for four years!
On the 11th November 2013, he was given a project to refurbish the Curriculum Development Building, in Gaborone at the tune of P5, 932, 710.93 and he was paid P5, 422, 627.67. He was to complete the project on 28 April 2014 and the project completion date was revised to 30 August 2016. Today the project progress stands at 90 percent completion.
This is howDTS explains this situation: “The contractor is struggling to complete the contract. He was a written a letter of Notice to terminate on 4th July 2015 which he replied on 9th July 2015 by opting for mutual termination. He was invited for a meeting on 31 August 2015 to discuss mutual termination but never attended or replied the invitation letter.
On 6th April 2017 he was written a letter of Notice to Terminate and replied on 26th April 2017, he further wrote on 23 May 2017 requesting for inspection and subsequent handover of the project. On the 13th June 2017 DTS team visited the project for final inspection, but on arrival on site they noticed that contractor did not finish the works. He further pleaded that he will complete by end of June 2017. After June 2017 if the work is not complete, contract will be terminated.”
Shocking 3.5% progress in six months
On 1st December 2016 the same contractor was awarded a job to construct 9No 2beds Double Storey and 2No LA3 staff houses for Moeding College at Otse at the value of P43, 000, 062. 71 and was paid P6, 945, 543.55. The expected completion date for the project is 31st December 2017 and at the moment the project is at 3.5 percent completion.
And the DTS explanation: “DTS wrote a letter on 15th May 2017 requesting to meet the Contractor and Client (Moeding Colege) on the 22nd May 2017 top discuss poor progress of the project. After holding the meeting on 22nd May 2017 Moeding Colege wrote to the contractor requesting for recovery plan or catch up plan from the contractor. On the 9th June 2017 the contractor wrote proposing to subcontract works. On the 13th June 2017 DTS responded seeking clarity pertaining to the contractor’s proposal.
On the 14th June 2017 DTS team visited the site and observed that the progress on site is still at 3.5 percent. DTS has visited the site again and still found that the progress is still at 3.5 percent. This poor performance of the contractor has been referred to the UCCSA Board of Governors so that appropriate action on contractual obligations and possible act on non-performance by the contractor.”
Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms. “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.
“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.
“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.
“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”
Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner. He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.
Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.
Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.
The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).
“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.
“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”
Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.
From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.
“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.
“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”
In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.
TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.
“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.
“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”
Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.
“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.
“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”
Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.
Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.
According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.
“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.
According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).
“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.
“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”
The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.
“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”
Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.
The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.
This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.