Tutume hospital accused of corruption

Kabelo Dipholo

A Francistown businessman has leveled his frustrations at the Management of Tutume Primary Hospital and accused them of corruption.

Managing Director of Proper Way (PTY) Ltd, Keolopile Simane, 40, who signed a two year contract last year to supply the health facility with cooking gas has accused the hospital management of systematically aiding his failure to honour the contract.

In a plea for help from The Voice, Simane said since being awarded the tender on 4th April 2019 he has encountered a lot of hostility from some members of the Tender Committee.

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He said from the onset some members had wanted him to buy the gas from their preferred supplier in Tutume.

“They told me about an Indian shop owner, but I was not interested because I had already found a supplier with far much better prices,” he said.

Simane said his refusal to play ball earned him the wrath of some in the committee who he believes expected to earn kickbacks from the preferred Indian supplier.

“They told me that if I did not cooperate with them, they’d ensure that I suffer. Now they are doing everything to frustrate me,” he told The Voice.

He said some of the things they do seem minor but have affected his ability to provide cooking gas as per the contractual agreement.

“Sometimes they’ll give me a Government Purchase Order, which I use to get financing from Citizen Entrepreneurial Agency (CEDA), only to get there and realise that the GPO does not have an official stamp. CEDA will never accept such a GPO. This is done simply to cripple my business,” he said.

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“One other tactic they use is to wait for all their gas cylinders to dry up and dump a huge order on me at the last hour and demand for immediate delivery as the hospital was likely to run out of cooking gas,” cried Simane.

He said the management also demands that he should come in person to collect his GPOs as they are not allowed to fax them. “They give me an order with a limited time frame, and now I have to travel to Tutume to collect the GPO. They always remind me that if I don’t deliver on time they’ll have no choice but to get supplies from the Indian shop, owner,” he said.

The Voice is in possession of a copy of a letter written to the hospital by Proper Way on 11th March proposing a price adjustment of cooking gas 48kg from P898 to P1 050 due to increment of prices from the supplier.

In a response dated 2nd June by R.O Oeme for District Health Management Team Head, they stated the District Administration Tender Committee (DATC) met on 20th May and approved a price adjustment of P932 with effect from 11th March.

“How’s that even possible?” Simane animatedly asked. “I wrote a letter on the 11th March, and the committee met on 20th May to approve price increment with effect from the day that I wrote the letter. It’s all confusing,” he said.

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Tender Committee former Secretary Zacharial Kaunda said his duty ended with the awarding of the tender and would not be drawn into discussing complaints.

Tutume District Health Management Team Head, Dr Ivan Kgetse however said he was not aware that Proper Way had any complaints about the hospital management.

“I’ve received complaints from him before and we’ve always worked to resolve them. Please advise him to come to my office and I’ll attend to all his complaints,” Dr Kgetse said.

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