As the million Pula deals start to vanish from the Khama associated clique, those coming into the picture are already tussling in the courts over deals gone sour.
Stoic and fearless Monametsi Kalayamotho has dragged a giant Chinese company, Huawei Technologies Botswana and the Botswana Police Service and another local information technology company to court over failure to honour an agreement related to the P200 million valued Safer City Solutions project.Kalayamotho’s Moon Stone Capital is demanding close to P11 million (USD 1, 046, 640.00) as at the date of judgement from Huawei technologies and Dynamix Ltd, jointly and severally one paying the other to be adsolved, as damages for loss of profits suffered as a result of the two’s repudiation of the Agreements entered into.
The then Ministry of Transport and Communications had issued Expression of Interest (EOI) for the provision of Safer City Solution. Kalayamotho’s Moon Stone and Huwaei Technologies agreed to jointly respond to the Expression of Interest, the Huawei technologies being the lead partner, while Moon Stone was the main citizen owned subcontractor and Huawei International Pty Ltd being the plaintiff’s non-citizen subcontractor, with a view to further jointly respond to the tender and to jointly execute it in the event their Expression of Interest was successful and in the event that their tender offer will be successful (the first agreement).
Kalayamotho represented Moon Stone in his capacity as Director and Chief executive Officer, while Huawei Technologies was represented by Abel Dengfeng as its Managing Director, this was in December 2014. “The first agreement was oral, alternatively tacit and further alternatively contained implied terms.” In this Agreement, Huawei Technologies was to be awarded the tender and was to subcontract 30% of the work to Moon Stone.
To demonstrate the breach of the First Agreement and Alternatively the Second Agreement, Kalayamotho and Moon Stone allege that Huawei Technologies, subsequent to the award of the tender, had substantively allocated the work originally allocated to the Moon Stone in terms of the “Responsibility matrix to Dynamix thereby precluding Moon Stone from executing the tender as agreed and receiving the remuneration for the work which was carried out by the Moon Stone.”
Kalayamotho further states that by Dynamix by colluding with Huawei Technologies Botswana to exclude Moon Stone from execution of the tender, this demonstrates conduct which evinces an intention to repudiate the Agreement therefore he is seeking damages. Moon Stone is also demanding interest amounts at the rate of 10% per annum calculated from the date of full and final payment.
The provision of Safer City Solution tender, which Huawei Technologies Botswana through Kalayamotho’s company Moonstone won, is valued at approximately P200 million and had been put on hold since 2015 until early this year when President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi took over as the President of Botswana.
About 200 companies had applied for the tender and later shortlisted to 50. The companies were then cut to five local companies, partnering with international companies being Moonstone, Noroc, Defence Concepts, Botswana Telecommunications and Seleka Springs which is owned by Khama brothers, Tshekedi and Antony.
At one point Kalayamotho was one of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s trusted allies. As a renowned tenderpreneur Kalayamotho is one of those who help finance Camp Dubai in 2017 which pushed the election of Masisi as a party chairman. The controversial tender award has also attracted strong opposition from the United States Embassy owing to the involvement of Chinese Multinational, Huawei Technologies
Contacted for comment Monametsi Kalayamotho confirmed to WeekendPost that indeed he entered into a consortium with Huawei and another local company ICT Dynamix. He said the idea to bring on board ICT is because there was a requirement for IST, and they were awarded the tender together with Huawei as the main bidder and others as sub-contractors.
THE SAFER CITY PROJECT
The Commissioner of Police Mr Keabetswe Makgophe and the Managing Director of Huawei Botswana Mr Ren Fujun commissioned the project by signing a two year contract ON January 2018.â€¨â€¨Speaking after the contract signing ceremony then, Commissioner Makgope said the project was necessary for the police’s delivery of effective policing to Batswana through the use of advanced and world-class means like surveillance cameras.
â€¨â€¨The police boss added that through the project Batswana will realize crime free streets and improved security in general. Commissioner Makgope noted that as Botswana develops and advances economically and becomes part of the global world it also becomes vulnerable to high profile criminals and organized criminal undertakings therefore the Police as the custodians of every day security and safety must also up their standards of policing in order to keep the city safer.â€¨â€¨
Botswana Government took a deliberate decision to turn Gaborone into world-class premier city of investment and international trade and package it as a Diamond City following the relocation of De Beers Global sight holders centre to the Botswana. Makgophe also revealed that the safer city project will after implementation in Gaborone later proceed to Francistown in the 2018/19 financial year.
Both Gaborone and Francistown, being the country’s premier cities house two special economic zones being the diamond &investment enclave around the Sir Seretse Khama Airport area and also the Northern Transport & Logistic hub respectively.â€¨â€¨“These are multi Million pula projects and they intended to keep Gaborone and Francistown cities much safer and secure by virtue of being the major centres of development and economic drivers for the country,” said Makgope.
“We intend to roll out the project to other parts of the country in future if it proves to be sustainable and effective as well as if funds permit,” he added. The managing Director of Huawei Botswana, Mr Ren Fujun underscored that his company was more than delighted to be part of a national project that intends to keep Botswana safer and contribute to economic growth by ensuring security of investment & trade undertakings.â€¨â€¨
He said Huawei Botswana would deliver a world-class network, “We will honour the agreement and make sure the project is completed on time,” he said. International Police Science Association (IPSA) and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) announced in their World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI) that Botswana Police is Africa’s best and the world‘s 47th. The index ranked the Rwandan police as Africa’s second best (with global position of 50th) followed by Algeria (58th), Senegal (68th) and Tunisia (72nd) in that order. Completing the top 10 for Africa were, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa and Mali respectively.
Former High Court Judge Professor Key Dingake has made his opinion known about gay rights in a glowing tribute to his retired former colleague Justice Ian Kirby.
Late last month a panel of Court of Appeal (CoA) led by Judge Kirby upheld a 2019 High Court ruling that decriminalised same-sex relations and stroke down two sections in the penal code. In his seminal judgment, Justice Kirby said these sections served only to incentivize law enforcement agents to become keyhole peepers and intruders into the private space of citizens.
In this case one Letsweletse Motshidiemang, a homosexual had instituted an application in the High Court challenging the constitutionality of Sections 164 (a) and 164 (c).
Paying tribute to Justice Kirby, Justice Dingake said overall the Kirby court was restrained and brilliant in its genre of conservatism. Judge Dingake said the case of Motshidiemang is evidence of the latter. “In a stroke of a pen, he ended the long and tortuous road to equality of gay people.
I was reminded of this long and tortuous road by a piece written by, Zackie Achmat, that indefatigable human right defender, recently, when he reflected on a union of gay men, one Khoi and the other a Dutch sailor, way back in 1735, who for their love for each other were brutally murdered,” Justice Dingake said.
He said in truth Botswana’s Constitution never denied the right to equality for gay men. It was society and the judges who did – some arguing that the time is not right to extend equality rights to gay persons – forgetting the self-evident truth that we are all born equal and that rights are not negotiable – not even with Judges.
“It ought to be remembered that the Motshidiemang case was similar to the case of Kanani that preceded it. Justice Kirby was part of the panel that sat in Kanani. In Kanani he agreed with the other Justices and refused to strike down the offensive legislation. The same legislation he struck down in Motshidiemang.
There is no doubt in my mind that Kanani was wrongly decided at the time, as several of my writings thereafter contended, having regard to the legal injunction to always interpret constitutional rights liberally and to treat the constitution as a living organism,” Justice Dingake wrote.
He added that in Kanani the Court of Appeal held back “our march to freedom for more than a decade – and perpetuated the suffering of gay persons as their being was criminalized based on an inaccurate and narrow reading of the Constitution”.
The truth of the matter is that, he said, our Constitution never denied gay persons the rights to equality and the right not to be discriminated against. “Some sections of society (may be the majority) and the bench did so. The bench did so because of the choices they exercised.
They chose to interpret the constitution restrictively, which is not permissible; they chose to be blown away by ‘public opinion’, which was not right, and they chose not read: ‘sexual orientation’, into section 15 of the constitution, which they could have done.”
Botswana’s Constitution he said commands that it be interpreted in a manner that saves humanity from the scourge of indignity – and with a sense of the future – and to secure the rights of generations yet to be born. It is always the duty of Judges to breathe life into the Constitution – and to effect the promise of the Constitution – by among other things rejecting the tyranny of the majority.
“Section 3, the principal section conferring fundamental human rights in Botswana has always been there. It was ignored in Kanani, and thankfully given effect to in Motshidiemang. A big lesson here is the often overlooked fact: Judges matter! Who the Judge is may be life changing in any given matter.
When one considers the decision in Kanani and Motshidiemang, based on similar facts and the diametrically opposed conclusions, one may be given to think that may be: ‘the constitution is what the Judges say it is’, at any given time, as that brilliant luminary judge and scholar, Charles Evans Hughes (1862 -1948) LLD, once ruminated.”
Interestingly, Judge Dingake wrote about homosexuality more than 12 years ago in his book ‘Key Aspects of the Constitutional Law of Botswana’. Justice Dingake expressed his views on what was said then to what was said in the recent judgment.
In that book, he began the debate by stating that homosexual issues are not frequently debate in Botswana. “Empirically, the extent of homosexual tendencies is not known. In any event the phenomenon does not appear to be widespread,” the Judge wrote.
He said serious debate however cropped up sometime around August 1995, after president Robert Mugabe’s much publicized anti homosexuals speech at the Harare International Book Show. Even then, he said, the debate was only confined to a small circle of intellectuals, with the broader community generally contemptuous and not willing to engage in serious debate about the issue.
“Although the intellectual community is by no means unanimous, there are some voices, particularly emanating from the University of Botswana, that are calling for equal treatment for homosexuals. Despite the enormous capacity of such arguments to court controversy general response of the public was one of cynicism. This general lack of interest among the general populace contrasts sharply with the enthusiasm and interest on the issue, just across the border, in South Africa, where there are numerous homosexual associations,” he said.
He explained that the South African Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which has paved the way for homosexuals to be employed in the army, an advance that is unparalleled in modern democracies. He also explained that Botswana’s criminal law prohibits consenting adults of the same sex from having a sexual relationship, because that is said to be unnatural.
“Within the framework of Botswana’s Constitution there can be no doubt that the prohibition of sexual relationships between consenting male adults of the same sex is unconstitutional. No free society can, in this era, afford to treat its citizens differently on the basis that is patently irrational.
Every individual, is in terms of the Constitution equal before law and has the right of equal benefit of the law without discrimination. The legal recognition of homosexuals will confirm Botswana as a democratic country that is advancing with time.”
He added that it needs to be said that it is however fruitless to bury “our heads in the sand and hope the issue will disappear for good”. He concluded: “In time we will have to confront the issue head on. In time blind prejudice that stigmatizes homosexual relationships will have to stand up to rational scrutiny. It is advisable not too turn a blind eye to the pain of discrimination suffered by few of our fellow countrymen and women. In a democracy it is unacceptable that the majority should oppress the minority”.
Consumers could pay more for electricity this year, as the government owned power producer, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) plans to increase prices for electricity by 5% with effect from the 1st of April 2022.
BPC recent statement on tariff adjustment shows that with the planned 5% increase in electricity tariffs, electricity prices per kWh could increase by 111 thebe for household users, 226 thebe for government, 148 thebe for commercial businesses and 111 thebe for the mining sector.
Botswana economy is registering growth as the country emerges from one of its worsts economic recessions since independence, following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
In late December 2021 Statistics Botswana released the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the third quarter of 2021.
The nominal GDP for the third quarter of 2021 was P49, 260.5 million compared to P48, 684.0 million registered during the previous quarter. This represents a quarterly increase of 1.2 percent in nominal terms between the two periods.