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Dada’s controversial multi-million pula mall finally takes off


The million pula property plutocrat and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) longest serving Treasurer, Satar Dada has finally made headway with the construction of a 45 million pula shopping mall in Kanye after a yearlong hurdle of coaxing some residents to vacate the vicinity of the proposed mall.


WeekendPost has established that all residents in the old Mahube mall/bus rank neighborhood have refused to move out and some even went as far as asking the powerful businessman to at least compensate them with 10 million pula and/or 10% shareholding in order to relinquish their households to pave way for the spacious mall, a request Dada perceived as hilarious and absurd.


It is understood that: “nonetheless, Dada struck a deal with some and their plots have been bought and were relocated to other parts of the village,” a source highlighted to the publication.


Some sources staying in the locality of the massive mall development revealed that they were looking forward to more dialogue on their removal with Dada but he was not forthcoming. “We hoped that we would discuss the matter further and make a compromise of a win-win situation. We do not mind moving out but want a fair deal,” stated the residents who have refused to make way for the proposed mall.


The residents further told this publication that they would have relocated had a more favourable deal like having a stake in the mall been extended to them, or provided they were to be built spacious households in other zones of Kanye. 


WeekendPost this week visited the residents who declined to move away for the mall. The occupants insist that they were not heartily consulted of the imminent mall, and therefore contended that they are weighing options including seeking remedy at the courts of law to halt construction of the mall.


“The mall is likely to bring an influx of the criminal behavior and consequently we will be affected as we stay very close to the mall.” Weekend Post has however observed that the neighbourhood dwellers actually preferred and would have moved if their outrageous needs were met.


Efforts to reach the business magnate last week Friday did not materialize as he was reportedly in endless meetings; this publication was however referred to his grandson, Ridhwan Dada who is overseeing the new spacious Kanye mall project.


According to Ridhwan, “none of the residents were asked to move out; in fact the mall was designed to be smaller but on the acquisition of the neighbouring land the decision was then taken to slightly expand.”


While stressing that none of the occupants were pushed out and promised a ‘fair deal’ by Dada, Ridhwan added rather that the land originally belonged to his grandfather and further that the neighbouring empty plots were consequently purchased.


The BDP money-man’s intention was to build a long-drawn-out state of the art mall at the location which is a ‘historical monument’ of the humble underpinning of his entrepreneurial long business career that now finds him as a business mogul.


“Yes, the location is the very same place where Mr. Dada had begun, on the piece of land stood the residence of Mr. Dada as well as a general dealer store where he started his business career.” It is understood that he had bought the store from one Mr. Mmusi and Mr. Phitshana who co-owned the business initially.


Dada at present owns sundry trades in various sectors of the economy of Botswana including Poultry meat production (chicken industry), Agri-feeds, Printing and Publishing Company Botswana, Motor industry and Property management and many others.


The powerful business man, through his company Faza Investment (Pty) Ltd has struck a deal under the Public Private Partnership programme (PPP) with the Southern District Council (SDC) which is currently constructing Kanye’s second mall amid controversy surrounding the project – that may land in court.


“The Project is a public private project between Mr. Dada and the Southern District Council (SDC).The estimated cost of the project is P 45 Million,” Ridhwan confirmed to Weekend Post in an interview.


In a similar manner, the construction of Mongala mall was also swamped in uproar as some Mongala ward inhabitants (where the mall was built) were unenthusiastic about abandoning their ancestral land and being placed at distant domiciles. Although they finally moved out, they were built spacious households at the different places of residence.


The mall, Mongala which was also built under the PPP with Time projects was estimated at 60 million pula and the Council is to take sole ownership of the mall only after 45 years.


Likewise, the new mall by Dada, which is yet to be given an official name, will be fully taken over by council after 40 years. A source at the SDC has revealed to this publication that Dada will pay the Council an estimated rent of P4 000 per month until the agreement expires in four decades.


The SDC has contributed land where the old bus rank and timeworn marketing stalls were placed and Dada will build a filling station, quick shop and stalls for the informal sector.  The other part of the plot which is bigger is owned by Dada and will occupy a supermarket which will be an anchor store, together with 15 line stores.


The mall is constructed on +- 7000m2 with a lettable area of approximately 2300m2. Shop sizes vary from 85m2 to 240m2 excluding the anchor tenant which is likely to be one of the supermarket brands in Botswana.


SDC Chief Physical Planner, Mr. Brewer Kenosi also highlighted to this publication that“the developmental project sits across two plots with one being owned by Dada’s company while the other by the Council. The company is singlehandedly constructing the capacious mall.”


Kenosi said that the project will immensely benefit locals by providing employment opportunities and that it will give the village a new look.


“We are of the opinion that the mall will provide a conducive environment meant for the people of Kanye and beyond to engage in trade as well as provide pleasurable shopping experience. Among other points it will improve the aesthetic value of the area and at the same time provide much needed infrastructure in the vicinity,” Dada pointed out.


The project is expected to be completed towards the end of next year.

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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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