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Gaborone North big shots in 1.5 million Pula water dispute

Lawyer Uyapo Ndadi represented the applicants (Trust)

The High Court has settled a matter in which Gaborone North residents were embroiled in a dispute involving a community water stand pipe which has so far raised money spanning in more than P1.5 million. The community relies heavily on the supply of water from the said standpipe, as there is no domestic water connection or reticulation by Water Utilities Cooperation (WUC).

It is understood that the millions raised through the standpipe proceeds created problems for the Gaborone North residents as it fuelled ‘divisions’ in the Moshawa Community Development Trust Executive Committee which was established to represent the Gaborone North dwellers.

WeekendPost has established that before the matter was brought to court, residents would go without water because of warring factions in the Executive Committee.

The case has pitted public figures in opposing camps including law maker for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa, former cabinet minister Tebelelo Seretse, Botswana Police Service spokesperson Christopher Mbulawa, Village Chief Magistrate Linah Mokibe-Oahile and other Attorneys living in the area.

According to the court papers, applicants are Gaborone North/ Moshwana Development Trust while former Executive members Linet Habana, Siphiwe Mathendele, Khotso Lebatha and Barclays Bank of Botswana are cited as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents. Nkaigwa and Mbulawa are with the applicants (Trust) while Seretse and Mokibe (trustee) are with respondents.

It is understood that at the centre of the dispute is the ownership and management of a water standpipe that provides portable water to the Gaborone North and Moshawa community. Emanating from the overarching issues, it was said that, is the operation of a Barclays Bank Motshelo account number 1049942(30) held under G/North Moshawa Community Development Committee, where the proceeds derived from the sale of portable water from the said standpipe are kept.

When delivering judgement on 3 March, Justice Michael Leburu indicated that it is undisputed that the standpipe in question was given to Moshawa Committee by Water Utilities Corporation. The said committee, he added was transformed into a Trust, which is the successor in the title to the said standpipe. “In the final analysis, the standpipe belongs to the Trust,” he declared.

He also explained that the committee which registered the account opened and operated the Motshelo Account and that Habana and Mathendele are signatories to the Motshelo account. However the Judge pointed out that “after the registration of the Trust the trustees resolved that both Habana (treasurer) and Mathendele (secretary) respectively, be removed from holding such posts, which also meant that they were no longer signatories to the Motshelo account.

Justice Leburu highlighted that the said respondents oppose their removal as signatories and posited that the account belongs to the Water committee and not the Trust.

However, in conclusion Leburu ordered that both the treasurer and Secretary be interdicted and restraint from acting as bank signatories to the account. Consequently, “Barclays Bank shall effect the decision to stop Habana (1st) and Mathendele (2nd) respondents from transacting in the account referred to.”

It was further ordered that Barclays Bank shall migrate GNorth Trust account number 1049942(30) to a newly opened account in the name of the Trust (applicant), namely account number 1472121(03) together with all the funds in the said account.

The Judge emphasized that the Trust, as the owner of the standpipe and holder of Motshelo account, in his view, is entitled to migrate the old Motshelo account to a new account. “The 1st, 2nd, 3rd respondents are hereby interdicted from instructing or causing persons who purchase water from the standpipe run by the applicant to pay through the account described,” Justice Leburu stated.

Uyapo Ndadi represented the applicants (Trust) while Mr A.P Williams sat in for respondents (Habana, Mathendele, Lebatha, Barclays Bank of Botswana).

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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