Items filtered by date: Monday, 20 August 2018 - Botswana Guardian

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.

Published in News

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will defend its decision to allow the candidacy of Moemedi Dijeng against the aggrieved incumbent Member of Parliament for Serowe West, Tshekedi Khama, who has since dragged the party to court.

Khama, who is also Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, has taken his party to court to challenge the candidature of one of his challengers in the constituency, Moemedi Dijeng. The case is likely to compromise the holding of Bulela-Ditswe in the constituency next week Saturday. The case was scheduled to be heard at Lobatse High Court on Monday this week but was postponed to yesterday (Thursday). 

Khama proceeded to court after BDP Central Committee refused to heed his demands. Khama would be defending his seat to represent the BDP in Serowe West in the 2019 general election against Dijeng and former Member of Parliament for Gaborone North and cabinet member Keletso Rakhudu. Khama had put forward demands under timeframes for Dijeng to be disqualified.

In a letter dated July 20th 2018, Khama gave BDP Central Committee three days to disqualify Dijeng. Failure by the party to act on the matter Khama said he would be left with no choice but to demand for the holding of extra-ordinary meeting of the National Council within Seven (7) days of receipt of the letter. Should this fail Khama posited that he would move an urgent application with the High Court to review Dijeng’s approval and interdict holding of primaries in the constituency. BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi said BDP as an entity would be taking the matter head on and is hopeful of victory.

He said it would be up to Khama as he is the one who alleges to prove his case. “As an entity we are ready to respond to the allegations. We are however not fighting the applicant. We would abide by any decision that the court would have handed down. We are a law abiding democratic party,” said Balopi at a press briefing in Palapye. Balopi expressed hope that the matter would be resolved before the 25th of this month, also stating that it would not be for the first time that the party faced a similar matter.

He cited the case which was brought by Whyte Marobela against the party and resulted with the party being barred from fielding a candidate at a by-election in Francistown West Constituency in 2013. The BDP would later win the case on appeal. According to Balopi, as the BDP they have followed the right procedure when dealing with Khama’s matter. Khama in a letter addressed to the party chairman Slumber Tsogwane states that, “it is the impropriety of the manner in which the approval of prospective candidates recommended by the Branch Committee in Serowe West Constituency was carried out by yourselves that has precipitated the delivery of this communication”.

Khama argues that Dijeng was once found to have contravened the BDP Code of Conduct. He stated through his lawyers in the letter that Dijeng candidacy has been approved, “despite the fact that the Disciplinary Committee of the very same Central Committee had on the 12th of June 2018, found the said Dijeng guilty of contravening Clause 16 of the party’s Code of Conduct for candidates in primary election stemming from a complaint raised by the Central Region Committee; and despite the fact that the central committee knew or ought to have known of this ruling not only because, in terms of the party’s procedures, all findings of the disciplinary committee are forwarded to it but also that our client made the Central Committee aware of such findings prior to the vetting process by handing copies of said Disciplinary Committee findings to both the party Secretary General and Chairperson.”

According to the minister, the Central Committee cannot exercise its powers or and functions beyond that which is prescribed by the governing law of the party. In doing so, Khama said it would be acting without legal authority and any decision taken that lack legal authority is illegal and is of no force and effect.

Published in News
Monday, 20 August 2018 11:40

Another court matter awaits BOPEU

 multi-million Pula lawsuit and counter-claim between embattled Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) and Mamataz Enterprise (Pty) Ltd owned by Ernest Molome is yet to be allocated a judge following the departure of Justice Leatile Dambe.

Justice Dambe is headed to the Court of Appeal and is currently only handling partly heard matters. The new judge who will be allocated the case is expected to set new dates for the case. The case was initially scheduled to be heard this week on Tuesday by Justice Dambe. The union, which is currently dogged by leadership crisis, will through its commercial wing, Babereki Investments (Pty) Ltd face off with Molome and his company Mamataz Enterprises (Pty) Ltd as Babereki wants to recover over P11.6 million from the latter.

The union argues that the P11.6 million was erroneously paid to Molome’s company as commission between September and November 2016. BOPEU – represented by its then Executive Chairman Andrew Motsamai, had in September 2016 entered into an agreement with Mamataz to raise capital for the union’s commercial wing.

The funds raised were to be used for growing the micro lending and asset management businesses of BOPEU, held under the Babereki conglomerate. In the contract signed by Motsamai and Molome the parties agreed that a three (3) per cent facilitation fee of the capital raised shall be paid to Mamataz by Babereki Investments. BOPEU argues that from the targeted P1.2 billion only P50 million was secured but strangely Mamataz was paid about P13 million.

The union maintains that it was robbed P11.604 million because the signed contract stipulated clearly that the 3 percent was to be paid on capital raised. According to the union from the secured P50 million Mamataz was entitled to P1.5 million. According to court papers the P50 million was secured from Botswana Life. According to Babereki the payment of the amount was not based on the contract; was not for any service rendered; was done fraudulently or a result of a conspiracy to defraud Babereki and was made without any entitlement whatsoever by Molome and Mamataz to such funds.

“The payment of P11.6 million was unlawful, alternatively illegal, alternatively fraudulent payment made to Molome and Mamataz with interest at the rate of 10 percent from the date of disbursement to the date of payment and the costs of suit,” argues Babereki. Molome has however denied owing Babereki Investment and has in turn slapped the union with a counterclaim. He argues that the union owes him a balance of about P25 million.

He pointed out that Babereki, instead of paying the entire 3 per cent of the P1.2 billion raised by them (Molome and Mamataz) of which only P50 million was drawn down, which is about P36 million, only paid P11. 604 million leaving a balance of P25 million which is due and owed.

Published in News

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