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Jamali’s OP relations raise eye brows

Publishing Date : 06 August, 2018

Author : KETUMILE RAMATITI

Property magnate Sayeed Jamali has overlooked the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) and issued an overhead bridge proposal connecting Central Business District (CBD) with Western-by-Pass to the Office of President, WeekendPost has learnt.


This publication has found that, it is not the first project by the property magnate to be presented to the office of the president in exclusion of lower relevant government entities. The proposal, which has been seen by this publication is said to be assessed by the government experts for consideration. The road which according to the sketch will be the first of its kind in Botswana will cross CBD through the bushy Phase II area, connecting with Western by Pass at Westgate Mall.


Jamali has business interest in both the CDB, where he owned a number of properties as well as the Westgate Mall, which also fall under his property portfolio. The bridge, although will be used by the public at large, is a strategic decision by Jamali as it will enable people to commute seamlessly between his two business centres.   


“As part of our social responsibility we are trying to develop our communities while on the other hand assisting the government. By now I have given the government a proposal to construct an overhead car bridge,” Jamali told this paper last week. “I have not yet received the response on the proposal because I suppose it is still being assessed. This proposal was sent to the office of the president as the highest office to ratify. I only deal with high office.”


Jamali said unlike the Tlokweng project road project, which recent caused conflict between him and residents, the proposed project will not encroach on anyone but it will have to be first sanctioned by government.  While the plan is still at an infancy stage, he said he is estimating millions of pula to be splashed on the project.


“The main reason why im constructing this is to ease congestion, I have businesses at Westgate Mall and CBD and I want to ensure they travel smoothly. The road will be for the general public to use, no tollgates whatsoever since it is not yet government policy have those,” he said. The businessman categorically stated that this proposal happened under the leadership of Ian Khama “who was very supportive to a number of initiatives aimed at assisting Batswana.”


The two enjoy cordial relationship which Jamali appreciates. “He bestowed me with an honor to show how much he appreciates my input in the lives of Batswana,” he said this pointing at certificate he received from Khama last year. While Jamali is making all these claims the relevant ministry of Transport headed by Kitso Mokaila is not aware of the impending construction. The ministry has revealed the project is not in their developmental agenda.


According to information gathered from the ministry, there is only one construction project planned within the area —the interchange planned in the Western by Pass (BTV Circle- Game City) which the government is in partnership with the World Bank. The plan already has passed through the tendering committee.

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