Pastor’s wife’s tuckshop tender raises eyebrows
Shop owners in Chadibe, a village roughly 30km west of Francistown, have condemned social workers and local leadership for the way they award Covid-19 food supply tenders.
At the center of the controversy is Lordwish Tuckshop, co-owned by Tshepiso Moithobogi and Madzibi Socks.
Madzibi, who’s married to popular Apostle, Socks of Breath of Life TV, has partnered with Moithobogi. Together the two women won a tender to supply Covid-19 food packages in Chadibe.
“This was nothing out of the ordinary as other tuckshops including mine were also inspected and given the go ahead to be ready to supply,” admits Odirile Macheng, who owns a tuckshop a few blocks away.
Speaking to The Voice last Thursday, Macheng’s tone quickly changes as she continues her narrative.
“However, we soon watched in envy as for three days Lordwish Tuckshop became the centre of attraction as trucks loaded with food stuffs tussled for space to offload.
“We couldn’t believe our eyes! We became suspicious because this small tuckshop was the only one supplying residents with food, while other tuck-shops, including well-established big stores, were not,” claims an increasingly agitated Macheng.
Her assertions are echoed by Goitsemodimo Mpolokang, another tuckshop owner whose enterprise is located a stone throw away from Lordwish.
Standing outside her neatly packed tuckshop, Mpolokang cuts a desolate figure. Her piercing gaze is fixed in the general direction of Lordwish Tuckshop, where food hampers are being loaded into two mini-vans.
Distinctly unimpressed, she sighs, shakes her head repeatedly and beckons us inside to conduct the interview. Apparently she cannot bear to watch the loading a second longer.
“This has been happening for the past three days. One tuckshop in Chadibe is supplying food, and the rest have been turned into spectators,” she growls.
Trying, but failing to suppress her rising anger, Mpolokang tells The Voice that five days earlier the assigned social worker had come to her tuck-shop to inspect it and gave her forms to fill, leaving her with an assurance that her small business would be among those selected to supply Covid-19 food packages.
“It’s been three days now. I approached our Councillor who said it was not in order for one tuckshop to supply food for three consecutive days. He said it was a mistake and promised to get to the bottom of it!” she reveals, her temper finally beginning to thaw.
However, when reached for comment, area Councillor, Gofamodimo Kamogenge denied any knowledge of complaints raised by shop owners in Chadibe.
Instead, Kamogenge insisted that as far as he is aware, all tuckshops in the village were awarded tenders.
“The procedure is that tuckshops should register and be inspected by the relevant authorities. No one should enjoy the monopoly of supplying food, the tenders should be shared equally,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, the two ladies caught in the eye of the storm, Moithobogi and Socks, told The Voice they simply responded to government’s request for local businesses to help in the supply of the much needed food relief.
“We made the decision as citizens to spend our savings to ensure that Chadibe residents never run out of food,” said Socks simply.
A week later, and whilst other tuckshops in the village have at least now received tenders to supply food, Lordwish continues to enjoy the lion’s share.