Orapa House has been plagued in controversy for some time. At the forefront is whether the OP and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning have overiden a decision by Parliament which rejected the proposal to buy the building under the belief that government may be buying own property.
The building was to be bought at a negotiated cost of P79 million. In 2012 the then Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mokgweetsi Masisi, withdrew his request in Parliament for funds to buy Orapa House from De Beers after details emerged that the building could be belonging to the Botswana government. Masisi advised the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo, to take up the matter and investigate it. Masisi later confirmed that, “the house has been fully paid for and now belongs to the government”.
In 2012 Masisi withdrew his proposal following a decision by the Finance and Estimates Committee not to approve the funds request. This was after the intervention by the then Tati West MP, Charles Tibone, who argued that Botswana government may find itself buying a building that actually belongs to the tax payer already. The government had wanted to buy the Orapa House for “a negotiated P79 million” but the Finance and Estimates Committee rejected the request because of the inconsistencies realised in the supporting documents of the proposed procurement. The valuation of the building was put at P74 million. The Ministry of Lands and Housing had initially offered De Beers P73 million as purchase price. However, De Beers countered with an P85 million price tag. On negotiation the selling price was finally agreed at P79 million.
The building became vacant after Diamond Trading Company (DTC) relocated to the state of the art building along the Airport Road in Block 8.