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Political interference hinders NSC II progress

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
Guma PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
A Member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Samson Moyo Guma has pleaded with the Auditor General to look closely into the North-South Carrier II Project. Guma had told the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services’ permanent secretary, Thato Raphaka and his Water director, Thatayaone Dedede that he had it in good authority that political interference was hindering the progress of the pipeline.

Guma posed the question to Dedede on the progress of the project.

“We had 17 companies expressing interest and there was to be a shortlist of eight companies. But upon realising that the project would only be complete in 2023, there were some changes made before the shortlist was made,” Dedede said.

Guma had earlier told Raphaka and his team that they too were aware of the alleged interference in the Ministerial Tender Committee by authorities. The issue was, however, not discussed in detail before the PAC with Guma calling on the Auditor General to closely monitor the developments.

Recently Mmegi fired questions at Dedede on the progress of the project. At the time, Dedede said he would not take up any questions as he said the tender was with the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB).

Surprisingly, a week later on April 11, 2017, the PPADB published in the Daily News that it had approved an application from

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the Ministry to cancel the Pre-Qualification tender (Design and Build NSC 2.2 Water Pipeline) and unbundled the project into four packages.

Still before the PAC, Guma expressed concern that well-known political activists and people not coming from the locality are appointed Land Board members. In response Raphaka said the Minister had the powers to appoint whomever to the Boards save for political activists.

“The Minister has the powers to appoint whoever based on advise from whoever. He can even appoint someone who failed the interview. Regulations are, however, clear that political activists cannot be appointed,” he said.

Guma then insisted that he had it in good authority that some political activists were among Land Board members. To this, Raphaka requested Guma to share with them the information he had so he could relay it to the Minister.

He, however, said it was not guaranteed that the Minister could heed the advice as the powers are vested in him.



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