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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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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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