Corruption busters from the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) are said to have descended at Kweneng District Council (KDC) headquarters to investigate the cost and construction of Molepolole bus rank.
According to reliable sources, DCEC which will be making their second enquiry at the construction of the multimillion bus terminal which has suffered delays, galloping millions of pula from government coffers since its commencement in 2012. Information gathered by this publication has revealed that the cost of materials for the Molepolole Bus terminal as compared to the Palapye Bus terminal which is bigger than it is extremely high causing suspicion. The Palapye bus rank which included access roads and traffic lights cost government through ministry of local government P81, 102, 57.11 and the consulting engineers were Multi-Tech Consult.
Molepolole Bus rank was designed and supervised by BOA consulting engineers, which is partly owned by the Minister of Transport and Communication Tshenolo Mabeo. The project has already cost government P115 million. Minister Mabeo is aa civil/ structural engineer by profession while the other directors of BOA Consultants are Otshabeng Steven and Emmanuel Sedumedi. Initially the design and construction of the project was priced at P168 million which was brought down to P115 million. The main contractor in the project is Estate Constractors, a company owned by Kegone Sebina.
Sources at the corruption busting agency have revealed that this is not the first time the project came under the DCEC radar. When the construction of the project began, DCEC is alleged to have launched an investigation after some employees of KDC raised a concern regarding procurement of some materials. One of the resident engineers from KDC was later transferred to Bobonong Sub District and an engineer with BOA Consulting resigned and is currently based in Kasane. “There is suspicion that prices were inflated and overpriced thus pushing the costs of the project and this led to the delay in delivering the materials as most of them were at normal prices,” said the source.
Recently KDC chairman Jeffrey Sibisibi blamed BOA consultants for delaying the project as they have failed to provide the contractor with the right material specifications on time. Addressing a full council meeting last month, Sibisibi did not mince words at the frustration cemented on KDC by the company. "The major attribute that delayed the project delivery is mismanagement by the consultant (BOA). The contractor indicated several delays by the Consultant to provide construction information, delay in determination of the claims and slow issuance of the instruction. The council has on several occasions written to the consultant to remind him of his contractual obligation in an endeavor to meet the 30th September 2015 completion date," said Sibisibi.
The construction of the Molepolole bus rank which was supposed to have been completed in July this year and gobbled P110 million while still at 70% has also attracted the wrath of Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mr Frans Van Der Westhuizen.
Early this year when he visited the construction site he cast doubt that it will meet the agreed date of July and was vindicated when the completion date was again moved to September. The project has also failed to meet the September completion as constructing is still ongoing. Contacted for comment, Mabeo said that he could not talk as he was at the BDP special congress.
Two months ago when contacted about the accusation, Mabeo refused to comment referring all the enquiries to KDC. Efforts to get comment from DCEC Spokesperson Nyaladzi Gambule hit a snag as he did not respond to the questionnaire sent to him by Friday afternoon. The Patriot on Sunday wanted to enquire if it is true they are investigating the construction of Molepolole bus terminal especially the cost of the project.