Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) continues to receive negative review on their alleged interference in the awarding of high capital projects especially those at Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services.
DIS has vehemently denied that they are involved in awading of tenders and that they have stopped some tenders from being awarded to certain companies.
Director of Public Relations at DIS Edward Roberts said the spy agency does not make decisions on tenders. “The mandate of the Directorate is instead established in the Intelligence and Security Service Act (2008). A close reading of the Act shows that the role of the Directorate is limited to among other things, routinely advising (not instructing) Ministries and government Departments on security issues as and when they are identified. This is a normal and distinct national security role that was envisioned to protect the country’s national interests and is in line with the Directorate’s established mandate. The Directorate will therefore continue playing that role,” he said in his response.
Last week the spy agency dominated parliament debate as some Members of Parliament accused it of squeezing out citizen owned companies out of multibillion tenders in preference of some Chinese owned companies.
MP for Selibe Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse took a swipe at DIS for what he said appeared to be dubious dealing of corruption or underhandedness on some tenders. “Mmamashia-Kanye water tender was awarded to a Chinese Company Zhengtai Group Botswana at P 709 Million- and 36-months duration. The company has been on site for almost 6 years with an estimated P1.1 billion cost,” he hit out.
Keorapetse said that China Jiangsu was elbowed out of the Maun Water and Sanitation where they had billed government at P1.4 billion and the tender awarded to Zhengtai Group Botswana at a value of P1.8 billion.
This came after DIS ordered MLWS to cancel the awarding of the tender to China Jiangsu International saying they were involved in corruption and threat to national security.“Another Chinese Company UNIK Construction Botswana has been awarded the following jobs; Tutume Water Supply at P230 million, Shakawe Hospital P400 million, Serowe-Serule Road 420 million, Moshupa Sanitation P830 million. The most favorite Chinese companies it would appear are China State, China Civil, Zhengtai and UNIK,” revealed Keorapetse.
He quickly added that they are not against Chinese companies but wonders why same companies are always winning tenders while others have been elbowed on the notion that they are involved in corruption which has failed to be proved in the courts of law.
“Let us subject technical and financial evaluation to profound checks including second opinions. The number of court cases related to tenders point to problems of evaluation and corruption,” he said adding that taxpayers have paid heavily through hefty taxes and got no services as a result of corruption.
China Jiangsu International got a golden handshake when the courts ordered Water Utilities Corporation to pay them P112 million for the breach of contract of the Mmamashia Water Treatment Plant which has since been given to Khato Civils.