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Molapowabojang truck owners threaten to protest

The MidweekSun Admin

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The tussle between resident truck owners of Molapowabojang and the Kanye Administration Authority over the awarding of tenders for works in internal roads is far from over.

The work involves hauling of 3 500 cubic meters of gravel from Lobatse Quarry for spot improvement of three kilometers of internal roads of Molapowabojang at an estimated cost of P123 000.
This week truck owners threatened to block internal roads in the village where hauling of gravel and grading is taking place to show their displeasure at the way the work was awarded. Truck owners allege that while they have adequate equipment and trucks for the work, instead it has been awarded to companies from Kanye. According to KAA the work was advertised for tendering on the Kanye Administrative Authority notice board from October 17, 2018 to October 29, 2018.

The advertisement invited local service providers within the jurisdiction – Molapowabojang, Lerolwane, Segwagwa, Moshaneng and some selected wards found in Kanye including; Kgosing, Ruele and Kgwakgwe –to furnish the Local Authority with quotations for the hire of tipper trucks for hauling of gravel to different locations and provision of a grader vehicle for grading of internal roads in Molapowabojang.

Truck owners however, challenge the way the work was advertised, stating that while it was appropriate to advertise it at the District’s headquarters, it was also necessary for the work to be advertised in the specific area where work was to be done to ensure that locals benefit economically.“There are times that work has been advertised in Kanye, but we have always known because a copy of such would be availed at the Council office here in Molapowabojang, what happened this time around?” quizzed Phenyo Nkakelang, a truck owner.

He believes that this was done to give work to favoured companies from Kanye over Molapowabojang truck owners. “I still believe that it is very unfair to distribute work like this, what happened to the Economic Empowerment Drive, does it not promote local empowerment?” he fumed. Another truck owner, Mothusi Silabo concurs that each time there is work within the Kanye Administrative Authority jurisdiction, it is advertised at the District headquarters, but locals within the jurisdiction are notified as well, but this time around, neither communication, nor advertisements were sent out to these areas.

What surprises Silabo the most is that some of those who won the tender do not have trucks, and even had to hire from locals with trucks. “Some of these people who are working came to hire trucks from us after they won the tender, how do you get awarded work when you do not have equipment?” Silabo quizzed. He strongly believes that work should have been advertised in the kgotla like is always the case. “These people knew the people they wanted to give this work to, and therefore they neglected us locals of Molapowabojang,” Silabo added. Responding to the truck owners’ outbursts, Public Relations Officer at the Kanye Administrative Authority, Kamogelo Molale denied that resident truck owners were not invited to tender.

“The quotation was open to all Kanye Administrative Authority’s service providers, including those in Molapowabojang,” he said. He explained that the quotation was advertised as per Local Authorities Procurement and Asset Disposal Regulation 31-Open Domestic Bidding for companies or individuals located within jurisdiction of Kanye Administrative Authority.

“We received five responses which underwent evaluation process and were later sent to Adjudication Committee for consideration. Since there were only five responses, meaning five tipper trucks, all the companies were approved to share the work,” Molale explained. The five companies that have been awarded the work are; Hase Projects at P33.95/m3, Ofentse Rogy Garogwe at P34.50/m3, Zeyheri Holdings at P35.84/m3, Maano Alma Mabille at P35/m3 and Service for You (Pty) Ltd at P30/m3. The work is expected to be completed by March 31, 2019.

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Healthcare system to improve

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The Health ministry has developed a seven-point programme to guide the country in improving the healthcare system, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Rabashemi Madigele.

“The seven priority areas will serve as a roadmap and a guardian angel towards improving the overall healthcare system and increasing access to health care while fighting the burden of disease that confronts us,” said Madigele at Masa Square Hotel on Tuesday.

The focal areas include decentralisation; Universal Health Coverage, Tertiary Care, Strategic leveraging on the Private sector; Supply Chain; Research as well as Staff welfare and accountability.
Point-one of the seven priority areas according to Dr Madigele is about empowering the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) and transforming them into fully fledged Regional Health Authorities.

“In this case, they will be rationalised from 27 to 18 and have the authority to hire A and B Scales, promote up to C1 and manage micro procurement,” he said. Point two is about improving the quality of healthcare services. “The main causes of mortality and their risk factors in Botswana are Primary Health Care issues,” Dr Madigele said.

He added that “Our efforts for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage should thus focus on: Prevention; Comprehensive screening; Early treatment; and Surveillance at the community.”
This he said, would require revamped grassroots efforts in which adequate numbers of community health workers through partnerships with the non-governmental sector will be deployed as necessary.

According to Dr Madigele, the top five causes of death in Botswana in 2017 were HIV/AIDS, Ischemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and Diabetes. He said compared to 2007, NCDs among these had increased in burden by an average of 34%. The top five risk factors related to these causes of mortality were unsafe sex; poor diet; high blood pressure; alcohol abuse and tobacco use.

Improving the quality of care, Madigele said will also include the safety and security of patients; attitudes of staff as experienced by patients; time taken in queues either before seeing a health worker or receiving medication and the availability of drugs.

Meanwhile, the health minister revealed that the commissioning of Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) is ongoing with the facility scheduled for opening on April 24th. “This will be a phased approach commencing with some services including paediatric oncology, internal medicine, rheumatology and endocrinology, diagnostic radiology, laboratory services and pharmacy”.

A phased commissioning of SKMTH will reduce overdependence on South Africa for referrals, reduce costs and also institutionalise provision of super specialist services within Botswana.

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JUST PROPAGANDA

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Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has refuted claims that she is under the radar of the Financial Intelligence Agency. Dr Venson-Moitoi who pulled out of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidential race at the eleventh hour, was last week reported to have had her accounts frozen because she was being investigated by FIA.

It was alleged that the freezing of the accounts would have a negative bearing on her campaign as she could not access her funds. Responding to enquiries on the issue during a media briefing in Kang Village, Dr Venson-Moitoi said the allegations were far from the truth.

According to the former cabinet minister, all her accounts were clean and she was accessing her funds without any challenge. “The person who was saying all those things was lying. My accounts are clean as we speak. I was never confronted by FIA or anyone. As far as I know I am not under any investigations,” she said.

Linked to that, it had emerged that Dr Venson-Moitoi’s campaign was being funded from outside the country especially by the some rich families in South Africa. Reports then suggested that her source of funding was blocked through the intervention of FIA, and that even her accounts were frozen. She dismissed the reports as propaganda that was perhaps spread to soil her campaign.

“I am clean. This is why I am never mentioned in missing funds from National Petroleum Fund or those of Capital Management Botswana,” said the Serowe South Member of Parliament. Last month Dr Venson-Moitoi had reported to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General Peter Magosi that she was not happy that she is being followed around the country by security agents.

Magosi dismissed the claims on grounds that his organisation is not the only one that uses private motor vehicles.

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