Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Nonofo Molefhi
The Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Nonofo Molefhi has said his Ministry is working with various state agencies to ensure that the Economic Stimulus Programme is not taken advantage of.
The Minister revealed that they have already met with construction industry players to brief them about the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP). The ESP was announced at a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) special congress in October.
Molefhi said MIST was already working with the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) as well as the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) to ensure that none within the industry took advantage of the programme. Molefhi also highlighted that the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) to ascertain that the set regulations are not flouted in the process.
There have been reports of civil servants intending to line up their companies to execute ESP projects and other unsubstantiated reports of lists of companies being submitted to various ministries as potential executors of ESP projects. Molefhi said all ESP projects will be implemented in the normal and acceptable procedure.
Although project implementation has been his ministry’s biggest challenge, Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Nonofo Molefhi says the ministry has learnt more from the challenges experienced and is resolute the same experiences will help them avert such in future.
Molefhi, who conceded at a media update for his ministry earlier this week that his ministry was coming from a very difficult and painful past where many government major projects were completed behind their intended time and beyond budget said contractors who have showed poor workmanship have either had their contracts terminated or seen defects rectified at their own costs.
“The challenges we often see in the built environment include poor workmanship, cost overruns and failure to perform by some service providers. My ministry continues to explore ways of how to improve on these and has started to implement initiatives to mitigate the impact of these challenges which among others include the continued use of Quality Audit teams established a little over two years ago to deal with both pre and post contract performance-related matters, strict contract supervision and execution monitoring, enforcing contractual obligations among others,” Minister Molefhi said.
He vowed that the ministry was prepared to put an end to government’s being taken for granted by service providers, “…where we believe the service provider’s lack of performance warrants termination of their contract, we have done so in the past and we will do it in future if necessary, without fear or favour to safeguard public interest.”
The minister regretted among other things his ministry having been tempted to take over incomplete projects due to public impatience after waiting for too long to use facilities whose completion dates were substantially delayed.
He further asserted that for the construction industry, which is riddled with many shortcomings, especially with regards to unregulated environment, the ministry along with stakeholders continue towards initiatives directed towards the creation of a conducive environment for self-regulation of the sector.
“During the year under review, the Ministry continued to facilitate the implementation of legal instruments and administrative structure for both Architects and Quantity Surveyors through financial support,” he revealed.
Furthermore, the minister said MIST had also forged ahead with the development of the Contractor’s Registration Bill for the establishment of the proposed Construction Industry Authority Botswana. “This bill is still at drafting stage, but the overarching objective of the Construction Industry Authority Botswana will be to implement an integrated strategy for the reconstruction, growth and development of the construction industry and to provide for matters connected therewith,” he said. According to Molefhi, the ministry target is to complete the Bill in readiness for presentation to the Parliament meeting of July 2016.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.