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BPC rebuffs P3 billion bid from Koreans

BPC can’t afford Morupule A refurbishment

There is no immediate solution in sight for the current power supply crisis in the country and it appears Batswana have to prepare to live in the dark for quite some time because Morupule A which the government is banking on to produce more electricity next year is not being refurbished at the moment.

Information reaching the WeekendPost suggests that the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has turned down a Korean company which was qualified to do the refurbishment of the power station due to financial constraints and the refurbishment tender has not been awarded as yet.

“We thank you for the submission of your tender for the Morupule A refurbishment Project. We regret to inform you that the Tender No 8665/12-14 which you and KOSEP kindly submitted have been nullified as no advantageous tender has been acceptable in view of both the technical and the financial requirements for the refurbishment project,” the BPC letter to SK Engineering and Construction co, Ltd, reads in part.

The Power station as promised by the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila is to supply 90 Mega Watts of electricity next year and 70 mega watts of such power is to be delivered though the refurbishment project.

Nonetheless, the company, SK Engineering and Construction, which was favoured to get the works done, has been turned down because it demanded a payment of about P3 billion for the refurbishment Exercise which the Corporation could not afford.

 “Your technical offer was found to be responsive to the technical requirements specified in the tender documents, however, your financial offer was not acceptable to BPC. As such the Re-tender process did not result in a commercially viable project outcome hence the nullification,” read the BPC letter which was signed by the Project Manager, Jimmy Ketlhabantswe.

Further information gathered by this publication suggests that the refurbishment works cannot take a working period of less than two years, thus casting doubt that Morupule A would be ready to supply the much needed electricity by next year.

The country’s troubled power utility, BPC, is unable to meet electricity demand and it started the tortuous schedule of rolling blackouts known as load shedding in 2013.

As Batswana were getting used to checking power reports the same way they do weather forecasts, the Minister responsible for Energy supplies, Kitso Mokaila promised them recently that the government would have finalised the government’s energy security master plan which involves refurbishing the Morupule A power station by 2016.

The BPC Public relations unit was yet to respond to the questions relating to the refurbishment tender at the time of going to print.

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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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