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  • Contract terminated because company had no structural engineers
  • Councillors questioned criteria for selecting the company

SESUPO RANTSIMAKO

FRANCISTOWN: There are no signs of progress in the P429 million Tshesebe/Masunga Road project that began in 2016 two years after it should have been completed, The Botswana Gazette has established.

In 2016, as part of the ESP projects, government funded the 25 kilometres (KM) road project to link Tshesebe and Masunga. Construction of the road, which also connects some of the villages within the district, commenced early in 2016 and was scheduled to be completed within 18 months.

However, the contract with the firm that had won the tender, Bash Couriers Construction Company, was terminated for lagging behind schedule.

This newspaper can also reveal that there were issues of mining rights for aggregates, availability of structural engineers and other manpower and criteria for awarding the tender to the specific company when the contract was terminated. “We wonder how this multi-million project was awarded to a company that has no capacity,” a councillor for Tshesebe Smarts Mathonsi, told The Gazette in an interview this week. “The company has done nothing since the project started. As things stand, the company did not have the capacity to do a project of this magnitude.”

The Councillor for Mapoka/Nlakhwane, Paulos Nkoni, said the failure of the company had robbed people of employment. “This was a major ESP project that could have created a lot employment in the region, but it seems even the few people working for the company were going without pay because they were failing to pay their landlords.”

The uncertainty surrounding the project continues despite a promise of resumption this month that was made by the Minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcas Makgato. “Briefing councillors of the North East District, Makgato said the project would commence in August,” Nkoni said.

The Deputy Chairperson of the North East Council, Florah Mpetsane said the contract with bash Couriers was terminated because the company was failing to perform. “As we speak, we are waiting for a selective tendering process to end before we may know which company will take over,” Mpetsane said in an interview.

Bash Couriers could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

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