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Sloppiness at PPADB worries Auditor General

PPADB BOSS: Bridget John

The office of the Auditor General has said it is troubled by the litany of trends of malpractice at the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) and the Ministerial Tender Committees.

Principal Auditor responsible for the expansive Ministry of Health Seno Gaosikelwe sketched a list of government funds gobbling machinations, abetted by the Ministerial Tender Committees (MTC’s) and exploited by dubious bidders, at a recent Ministerial Tender Committees workshop.

Gaosikelwe who pleaded with PPADB to exercise vigilance in tender approvals poured scorn at the government buyer’s slipshod efforts as tenders with overblown charges get to always pass through the slithers of the procuring boards.

Gaosikelwe signalled the tender committees against the approval of recurrent price alterations as winning bidders often times hike the charges of their services, a trend she said is widespread in the security services sector where procuring entities upswing prices without reason, contrary to agreements which orders that prices may be hiked only when there are fuel price and statutory labour wage increases.

Gaosikelwe who named the Ministry of Health, where she is the top Auditing official as an example where government is fleeced of funds, said procured equipment often times languish for so long before getting commissioned only to later show defects at a point where the warranty of such goods has expired.

She highlighted x-ray technologies as well as industrial pots in public schools as examples. She also said they also encounter the same problem in the construction sector where assets to be fitted in facilities are hard to procure as they had not been expressly stated leading to taxpayer financed equipment pining away unused.

According to Gaosikelwe, there are trends of purchasing equipment that is not required, which usually leads to them piling up in storage facilities, where they end up expiring without being used and eventually being disposed off.

Gaosikelwe also cautioned assembled envoys at the Ministerial Tender Committees annual symposium to be attentive in the approval of blank tenders lacking precision and peppered with inconspicuous loopholes that do not display the total amount that should be paid in the contract.

She continued saying that this precipitates a state of affairs where procuring entities tend to oversupply items which end up facing disposal after exceeding their lifespans. Gaosikelwe said that this trend is widespread in governments’ rental contracts where contracts can specify payment amount but not highlighting the period rental of a facility.

She also cautioned the delegates to be wary of tenders with ambiguous descriptions as well as deliberately omitted data as often they trigger duplicated payments far exceeding the departments’ threshold to be paid to a single procuring entity.

Gaosikelwe further said that her department is perturbed by arrangements of making purchases from foreign procuring entities where PPADB and different Ministerial Tender Committees are obligated to make payment before the procured goods arrive only for the foreign company to show reluctance to act in cases of the identification of defects.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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