- Initial procurement was rejected by PPADB
- Minister intervened in dispute with landlords
The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Kagiso Mmusi, had to intervene to end a dispute between the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and certain landlords around the country after the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) rejected a request of P100 million for provision of staff housing and accommodation for soldiers last month, The Botswana Gazette has established.
While PPADB did not state why it rejected the request, sources said it was because the BDF had entered into agreement with landlords without involving it. Faced with the new reality, some landlords threatened to sue the BDF and the government for breach of contract after the BDF request was turned down.
The tenders that were not approved were Tender No: PPADB 0/5/1/6-2 Title: Request by Botswana Defence Force (BDF) for retroactive approval for direct appointments of 105 landlords in Gaborone and catchment areas for Provision of Staff Accommodation at a total amount of P82,453,236.30 for a period of 36 months, Tender No: PPADB 0/5/1/6-2Title: Request by Botswana Defence Force (BDF) for retroactive approval for direct appointment of various landlords in Francistown, Maun and Kasane/Kazungula areas for provision of accommodation of BDF at a total amount of P1,308,258.50 for 26 houses from 1st May 2021 to 30th September 2021, Tender No: PPADB 0/5/1/6-2 Title: Request for retroactive approval by Botswana Defence Force (BDF) for direct appointment of various landlords in Selebi-Phikwe, Gaborone and catchment areas for Provision of Accommodation to BDF at an amount of P11,200,944.39 from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022, and Tender No: PPADB 0/5/1/6-2 Title: Request for retroactive approval by Botswana Defence Force (BDF) for direct appointments of various landlords in Selibe-Phikwe, Gaborone and catchment areas for Provision of Accommodation to BDF at an amount of P1,130,299.25 for 53 houses from 1st April 2021 to 30th June 2021.
In an interview this week, Minister Mmusi explained that the procurements were finally approved this month after intervention by ministry. “I was briefed by our officials that the procurement has now been approved,” he said. “There were a lot of concerns, especially from the landlords, that came to us and we had to intervene.”
He pointed out that the government is pulling all stops to provide better conditions of service for the members of the military because shortage of housing and accommodation is a huge challenge for the BDF.