- Minister says negotiations with HB Antwerp began in 2019
- Company website says company was established after 2020
The Minister of Minerals and Energy, Lefoko Moagi, revealed that “the government had received an unsolicited bid from HB Antwerp in 2019” despite the fact that the company was only officially registered in 2020.
This revelation has sparked outrage from some legislators, particularly from opposition leader Dumelang Saleshando who told this publication in an interview that essentially what the minister is saying is that the government was dealing with a seemingly non-existent company.
“This means that the government could have received a bid from a company that did not exist at the time,” he said when reacting to the minister’s response.
Transparency and credibility
According to Saleshando, both HB Antwerp and the Botswana Government’s alleged engagement in 2019, as stated by the minister, raise concerns about the transparency and credibility of the entire process.
“According to official records, both HB Antwerp and HB Botswana were non-existent during the period in question,” he said.
The opposition leader’s asked a pointed question: “How do you receive a bid from a non-existent company?” he charged, highlighting the need for a thorough investigation and a clear explanation from the government.
Minister Moagi has said the bid received from HB Antwerp was unsolicited and had been presented to the government in 2019. He added that the company was roped in for its experienced, highly skilled personnel and a robust proposal.