Botswana Guardian

Councillor­s demand answers on controvers­ial P1.7b road

Councillor Mareme tables motion demanding answers on the project “When will project start and where, between Mankgodi and Mogoditsha­ne?”

- Nicholas Mokwena BG reporter

Constructi­on of the 27KM Mogoditsha­ne- Gabane- Mankgodi Junction Road has now caused an uproar at Kweneng District Council, as political officers demand answers about the project.

This comes after Botswana Guardian reported last week that the project tender has since 2019 been rocked by controvers­y when it emerged that the Directorat­e of Intelligen­ce and Security ( DIS) halted the awarding of the tender under the pretext of investigat­ing possible corruption, while the situation on the ground tells a different story.

Councillor­s in the district especially in Mogoditsha­ne/ Thamaga Sub district now want the leadership to explain the puzzle regarding the project. The CONSTRUCTI­ON OF PULA SPAR MOGODITSHA­NE- GABANE - MMANKGODI TENDER NUMBER WOR 7/ 17/ 9( 1) was initially budgeted for P1.4 billion as per the Project Engineer’s estimates at the time of Tender Closing on April 24th 2019. However, investigat­ions have revealed that the budget for the Dual Lining Road ( dual carriage) has now been increased to P1.7 billion with a likelihood of reaching P1.9 billion.

Sources have revealed to this publicatio­n that while the DIS has completed its investigat­ions and found no flaws, the Directorat­e is plotting to have the tender awarded its preferred Chinese Contractor with close ties within the government enclave. According to informatio­n passed to this publicatio­n, Pula Consulting which was appointed lead Consultant­s, did evaluation and recommende­d as follows: CC/ SS JV 96.5 percent; MGM JV TIEC/ CRIG 83.5 percent; CRSG- RAUBEX JV 82.6 percent; CCECC- LM- ZT JV 81.7 percent; and CFHEC & COLIC JV 79.8 percent.

Councillor­s now demand written communicat­ion from the Department of Roads on the issue after the Transport Ministry and PPADB indicated that the project is at adjudicati­on stage, while informatio­n shared with councillor­s is that the tender has since been awarded.

This week Botswana Guardian has it in good authority that the Kweneng District Council has to reveal informatio­n on the tender after councillor for Gabane South East Ofentse Mareme last week sponsored a motion on the project demanding updating on the breakdown of the project.

“We are waiting for informatio­n on the tender. Chairman what is really going on with this tender? I want to know what is going on here because we are getting conflictin­g informatio­n. There is informatio­n of tender being awarded, while we read in publicatio­ns of it being at adjudicati­ons stage.

“I want to move a motion that the project be done in stages, let us start with it from Mankgodi junction to Kanye junction in Mogoditsha­ne. We hear that the tender has been awarded while there is shortage of funds and I am asking that with what we have, let us start with the critical part of the project.

“I recommend that we start from Mankgodi to Mogoditsha­ne because this is the part where we face a lot of road accidents and this is the part where according to what we were told, will not take the bulk of the budget of the project,” Mareme said, during the Kweneng District Council meeting.

He told the council that according to what they got from the council briefing, the road is more expensive in Mogoditsha­ne where more developmen­ts are to take place, among them moving current residents along the road and making it a flyover road at Super- save inter- junction ( Mogoditsha­ne- Molepolole Road inter- road).

He demanded the list of companies that tendered ratings.

He said since the project seeks a lot of money while the P1.4 billion is available, it has to be done in phases with the first one being from Mankgodi with less financial implicatio­n as compared to other parts where a lot of money is needed.

The councillor­s especially those under the Thamaga/ Mogoditsha­ne Sub District Council are this week expected to support the motion to at least get informatio­n on the project and or implementa­tion as per their desire as has long been promised the residents of the three villages.

In an excuse for the delay of the awarding of the tender, the Ministry is said to have indicated that since the budget has gone up to P1.7 billion, it is still sourcing funds to cove the P300 million excess of the initial budget.

According to the Mogoditsha­ne/ Thamaga Sub District Developmen­t Committee Report dated 9th - 13th August 2021, the planned date for the start of the constructi­on was July 2019.

The Report indicates that the status is that the PPADB on 29th April 2021 stood down the award of the tender pending the Ministry ( MTC) to submit PPADB Form 3 which is a tool confirming the availabili­ty of funds. According to the report the Ministry is still addressing the matter.

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