he Office of the President (OP) will no longer move its domicile address to Orapa House subsequent to the completion of renovations, which were initially meant to transform the building for use by the top office address in the country.
BG News can reveal that although the tender will be awarded in two weeks, the Directorate of Intelligence Security Services (DISS) vetted the short listed companies and will supervise the renovations of the building as it is a high risk security area.
In 2014 Parliament agreed to release an amount of P292, 598 million following a proposal from the Office of the President.
BG News has it on good authority that the top two in the presidency, including the office of the Vice president and their immediate staff will remain housed at the current building, whilst all other ministries and departments which fall under the presidency will relocate.
This however will take time as Gaborone’s iconic building is still undergoing make up.
Speaking to BG News and confirming the above, the newly appointed Government Spokesperson, John- Thomas Dipowe said the tenders for the refurbishment will be awarded in a fortnight’s time and the project will be under the supervision of the DISS because of its security features.
The presidency could have long moved to Orapa House if government had its way. Twice the proposal was brought before Parliament and rejected on both occasions. It remains a mystery how Parliament which was initially reluctant to commit on the deal approved the P293 million deal in 2014.
BG News has been reliably informed that De Beers had previously offered Orapa House to government at a negotiated cost of P79 million, which escalated slightly to a little over P88 million as a result of inclusion of VAT.
But legislators were reluctant to approve the acquisition on two occasions arguing that the deal was not justifiable considering a tighter squeeze on the budget during the National Development Plan 10.
Legislators also argued strongly that Gaborone has an oversupply of office accommodation and that there was no urgency in acquiring the building as it ccould be budgeted for in the following financial year.
An initial snap evaluation placed the value of Orapa House at P76 million but a comprehensive valuation undertaken in late October 2012 estimated its market value at P74 million.