Govt snubs Batswana, gives Steve Harvey multimillion pula Tender

  • OP handpicks Harvey to revamp Mass Media
  • BB brought identical proposal to Masisi in 2019


Whilst the details around the controversial direct appointment of American comedian and multi-millionaire Steve Harvey’s company, Steve Harvey Global at the Department of Broadcast Service (DBS) remain unclear, Business Botswana has expressed concern over government’s lack of support and empowerment of its very own citizens within the creative industry.

On Tuesday (yesterday) Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board made an announcement that the board had approved the direct appointment of Steve Harvey Global for the Provision of Radio and Television Production Services for a period of three (3) years by the DBS. While rumours indicate that it may be over P150 million, the budget for the project was not stated in the memo. DBS falls under the Office of the President.

This appointment has caused a public stir as many questioned the awarding process and that local content producers have been side-lined in what looks like an export of jobs that belong to Batswana.

In a statement released last night by Busi-ness Botswana – Creative Arts & Media Sec-tor a similar proposal was brought before President Mokgweetsi Masisi but neither was there any interest shown nor a response from OP.

“In June 2019 we engaged with His Excellency President Mokgweetsi E. K. Masisi and various Government leaders under the auspices of Creative Community Adhoc Committee and proposed a 10-point plan for jobs and the growth of the creativity and the arts in Botswana. In our plan we made far reaching proposal for the Transformation of the Departments of Broadcasting and Information Services (DB&IS) that is to say BTV, RB2 & Daily News,” reads the statement.

The points they proposed were thus; “Botswana Government must review the Department of Broadcasting and Information Services budget upwards. Extra expenditure on media creates huge potential for job creation in the arts and creative economy where more than 50% of the jobs are held by youth (under 35). DB & IS needs to do a full review of its commercial operations (it is giving away airtime and advertising space for next to nothing), and also, how it acquires content.”

The release further states that Busi-ness Botswana pleaded with Masisi for active commissioning of state broadcaster Botswana Television into a national broadcaster which would al-low the engagement and resourcing of more local production companies.

Meanwhile, Government Spokes person Andrew Sesinyi told this publication that government will share full details and project specifications before the end of the week. The tender is expected to cost government millions of pulas.

Harvey was invited to Botswana by Masisi in the run up to the 2019 General Elections for a youth seminar which attracted hundreds of youth participants. While reports suggested that his invite cost government several millions, OP denied that no money was spent on his visit. Masisi has publicly described Harvey as close friend