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BERA Laptop Acquisition Raises Eyebrows

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
BERA CEO, Rose Seretse PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) Chairperson, Bernard Ndove, has dismissed claims that he awarded himself a tender to supply five laptops to the organisation.

He went on to accuse some of his colleagues in the Board and senior management for tainting his name.

Sources claim that Ndove made a controversial sale of computers to the energy regulator through his company Pipe King Services. According to documents seen by The Monitor, Ndove sold four laptops to BERA for Board members at the value of P34, 384.

According to the documents, Tarsus Distribution on October 24, 2017 delivered to Ndove’s company ICT Dynamix, five HP 440 G4 i5- 7200U 4G RAM, 500GB HDD laptops at P7, 675 each (before tax).

Surprisingly, the same laptops with the same five serial numbers were quoted to BERA on the same day at the exact prices totalling P42, 980 by another company, Pipe King Services.

A copy of the BERA payment voucher prepared by one M Diruti (referred to as Personal Assistant), checked by C Machacha (General Manager Corporate Services) and approved by Chief Executive Officer, Rose Seretse shows that the laptops were purchased at P34, 384. According to Ndove, this was because the fourth laptop was for his daughter and BERA did not pay for it.

Seretse prepared a memorandum addressed to Machacha justifying why they snubbed Ryder Investments, which was initially chosen to supply the laptops.

“BERA had started the procurement of laptops for its Board Members and Management. Ryder Investments (PTY) Ltd which was supposed to supply laptops at a cost of P13,438.88 each, did not deliver. We then sourced

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an alternative supplier, Pipe King Services which supplied five laptops at a cost that was less than the original supplier by P4,842.88 per laptop which came to a saving of P24,214.40 for the organisation,” reads the memorandum.

Contacted for comment, Ndove dismissed the allegations as a smear campaign against him.

“I had an oversees trip which I needed a laptop for. Since we had not yet received laptops from BERA, I pleaded with Finance Manager that I purchase one for myself and they could reimburse me.

 When I brought the receipt for refund, she was surprised with the low prices and suggested that I buy for BERA as I would save them money. I told her I felt uncomfortable about it, but she insisted,” he said.

Ndove said he used his company to acquire the laptops as his company had the privilege of purchasing at a lower price. He said his company did not supply the laptops.

Seretse said she acted on recommendations of Machacha to authorise the purchase. “I was asked by the Director of Finance and Procurement informing me that the company that was supposed to deliver the laptops for board members was failing to deliver and that the Chairperson had sourced a laptop cheaper and that she requested me to write a letter so that BERA can source from the same supplier as he was cheaper and faster. A letter which I duly wrote,” she said.



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