Minister urges monitoring of Chinese contractor performance

Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu Skelemani has appealed to the Chinese Ambassador to Botswana to closely monitor the performance of the Chinese contractors operating in Botswana.

Speaking at a welcome reception for the new Ambassador, Zheng Zhuqiang, Mr Skelemani said the relationship between Botswana and China come a way back and need to be nurtured for the future generations of the two countries.

Skelemani said of recent there had been uproar of dissatisfaction from members of the community regarding projects carried out by the Chinese contractors, which they said were below standards.

Minister Skelemani said he knows the Chinese people as hard working people and very industrious and they have the capacity and knowledge to hand over proper structures and urged them to consider maintaining a good record.

He said as the government, they account for every Thebe that the government spends and if the Chinese contractors win tenders, they should hand in good projects, which would please Batswana.

On other issues, Mr Skelemani acknowledged that China remains a strategic partner for Botswana and that relations between the two countries remain excellent and said testimony to the excellent relations between the two countries is the volume of development assistance that Botswana has been receiving from China over the years as well as high level exchanges between the two.

He said amongst such development assistance are grants, concessional loans, scholarships, short term training and infrastructural development such as the RMB Yuan 80 million, which will be utilized for phase II of the Gaborone Multipurpose Youth Centre.

Ambassador Zhuqiang said since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Botswana some 38 years ago, the two countries have enjoyed a very fruitful bilateral relationship and benefited immensely from the mutual exchanges and win-win cooperation.

He said China has provided economic assistance to Botswana’s development in forms of grant, interest-free loans and concessional loans, which were used to finance the renovation and upgrading of 587 kilometres of railway line, the construction of more than 200 kilometres of Letlhakeng-Kang road.

Zhuqiang said China was willing to finance and build two more schools for Botswana, having already constructed 717 residential houses and two primary schools.

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