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Gov’t introduces Special Implementation teams

President Lt Gen Ian Khama says government has taken a decision to introduce a Special Implementation Teams for mega projects around the country. The President admits that past failures have informed the assembling of this team.

According to Khama each mega project which is in the offing will be assigned its own special implementation team. He said the teams will be comprised of experts who are experienced in project implementation and management.

He expressed concern about the money that government lost in projects that incurred cost overruns as a result of suspect supervision. He stressed that while there will be cost implications for introducing these special implementation teams, the money used is incomparable to the cost overruns incurred as a result of poor implementation.

President Khama also pointed out that the implementation teams will not in any way be under the ministries responsible for the mega projects. He said the Special Implementation teams will be independent of the Ministries but will work hand in hand with the Government Implementation and Coordinating Unit (GICO). “We are going to have dedicated implementation teams for mega projects,” said Khama.

Government has had to battle with the backlash of failed or delayed projects such as the Palapye Glass Projects which saw the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) losing close to P500 million Pula; the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport expansion also incurred a lot of cost overruns and potential lawsuits from executors.

The Morupule B Power Plant has seen government incur costs as a result of poor execution as a result of lack of proper supervision.  Failure of Morupule B to operate at full capacity has plunged the country into power challenges.

The President said projects such as the Agro Zambezi and the North south Carrier water Project will attract the services of specialised implementation teams. Khama said the infrastructural development for the Zambezi Agro-Commercial project will soon commence, while arable production will continue to benefit through our cluster development strategy.

He said there are other mega projects such as the Selibe Phikwe steel project which government wants to be successfully implemented because of its potential to create thousands of jobs.  

During the State of the Nation Address, Khama said Government continues to deploy audit teams to ensure that all new construction projects and procurement of offices and staff houses are defect free at completion stage or rental/purchase stage.

Commenting on mega projects, the President said: “With regard to problematic projects, a contract for the completion contract of the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport has been awarded. Work commenced in July 2014 and is scheduled to be completed during the first half of 2015. The completion works for Francistown Stadium, will cost just over P 100 million and is being undertaken as two separate contracts.  Major refurbishments of the Serowe Sports Complex, which included installation of the artificial turf and cleaning and repair of sewage pipes, has been completed and are in use.”

According to researchers, hierarchal assessment of factors has found that the top 3 most significant factors of cost overrun are fluctuation of prices of material, cash flow and financial difficulties faced by contractors and poor site management and supervision.

“These factors belong to two categories i.e., contractor’s site management and financial management category, thus improvements in these categories are paramount for controlling cost overrun in construction projects.”

Researchers have also established that poor site management and supervision factor is focusing more towards contractor group. They state that it reflects the weakness and incompetence of contractors and affects significantly on the cost performance.

“This can come as a result of failure to comply with statutory body’s requirement, poor communication with sub-contractors and material suppliers significantly, thus affecting the progress of project.”

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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