Troubled local company, Delta Dairies has been supplying the milk through direct appointment over the last five years but matters took a different turn last April when it failed to get a renewal.
It is said resistance came from the Ministry of Local Government, where officials have failed to agree, resulting in a deadlock in the awarding of the tender.
Officials handling the tender are at war regarding who should get it while pupils have started feeling the pinch after going for a month without milk. Government stores have run out of supplies pending the issuance of a new tender.
Inside sources at Delta Dairies told The Monitor that after their annual contract came to an end in April this year, they were assured that they will be favoured through the government's Economic Diversification Drive, a pledge that was indeed followed by a tender invitation.
But lo and behold, Delta Dairies' response to the tender invitation encountered unexpected hurdles. The Monitor is informed that the bid has been rejected by the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) because Delta is not registered with the body. The development has alarmed Delta, which has had to close shop because there is no money coming from government.
Sources at Delta say in the last five years, the Ministry of Local Government made presentations to PPADB for the company to be given a waiver to supply the milk. But this year, the company is surprised that no such thing has happened.
In fact talk is rife that some officials at the ministry favour a certain brief-case company for the tender. It is said the brief case operation is fronting for a South African milk company.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Local Government spokesman, Tshenolo Gaothuse dismissed reports that the ministry is divided over the bids. He said their warehouses have plenty of milk and schools are getting their normal supplies.
He promised to email The Monitor a formal communication yesterday but failed. He was not responding to texts or phone calls at the time of going to press. However The Monitor has established that some schools in Gaborone have not had milk for a month while others reported that supplies ran out last week.