The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has abruptly dumped a security firm owned by suspended Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Mogoditshane parliamentary aspirant and a key Ian Khama ally, Tshepang Mabaila.
LEA cited serious inadequacies in the security firm’s services provided countrywide. However, Mabaila who is facing a crunch disciplinary hearing at the ruling party today, suspects the move is politically motivated, stemming from tensions within the BDP.
Mabaila’s Emirates Security scooped the P2.6 million security contract last September, with LEA immediately becoming the security company’s biggest client. Amongst Mabaila’s business interests, it is believed the security firm occupies a perk position.
The contract was awarded in September 2017 and its duration was two years.
Its engagement included security services, amongst others, physical guards and alarm monitoring systems at the following sites; chief executive officer’s residence, Francistown (Lekgaba), Francistown (FIBI), Francistown branch (Ntote), Selebi-Phikwe (office), Serowe branch, Kasane branch, Ghanzi branch, Tsabong branch, Molepolole branch, Ramotswa branch, Masunga branch, Kanye branch and Glen Valley.
In August, LEA through its director corporate services, Nathaniel Matsheka wrote to Mabaila expressing concern over the state of the security services at its sites allocated to Emirates Security.
“At Francistown office, two-way radios were not provided, handcuffs, 24-hour alarm monitoring, identification for guards and at Selebi-Phikwe branch they complained that the guards had no supervisor to monitor them. Emirates employees complain that the company is not paying them overtime,” Matsheka states.
“I must bring it to your attention that the issues you purported to have addressed have not been addressed. Furthermore, it must be highlighted that the issues stated pose a security threat to the LEA assets and its staff.”
However, Mabaila maintained that he had addressed the issues that LEA was complaining about in May and asked them to do site visits for different branches, but they did
Instead LEA wrote to Mabaila on May 25, 2018 requesting him that both parties should convene a meeting to discuss the way forward regarding the 20% payment withheld in the April 2018 invoice submitted.
In his letter dated August 9, 2018 Mabaila wrote, “LEA authority management instructed Emirates Security Services to withdraw from providing the alarm monitoring and also instructed them to deduct the amount for the alarm monitoring hence, there is no provision of such. Emirates Security Services therefore requests that you furnish all the contracted sites with alarm monitoring”.
“We are, however, aggrieved by the nature of conduct on the termination of contract between us and your organisation for reasons; when we started the contract, LEA paid us very late which showed a welcome gesture from them.
“When two supervisors went for a meeting at Gantsi branch, the branch manager told them that our company does not deserve this contract and somehow a favour was done for us grounded on the director’s political affiliations. The matter which was reported to your office and no response was given concerning the matter.”
Mabaila requested that LEA should pay his company the remaining money agreed on the contract signed since the termination is unfair and has no ground.
“The contract has been terminated and appointed Security Systems, which to my belief they have always had a relationship with the chief executive officer (CEO). CEO had clearly verbally told me to engage Security Systems to guard him at his residence,” he said.
On Mabaila’s assertions, Matsheka said he is not the right person to comment on the matter.