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.
Gaborone Bonnignton South Member of Parliament (MP) Christian Greef has submitted a letter of complaint to party chairman Slumber Tosogwane to take stern action against former minister Dr Alfred Madigele for causing chaos in the constituency.
There has been simmering tension between the two in Gaborone Bonnignton South, where former minister Dr. Madigele is said to be busy working the ground with the intention of contesting the constituency in 2024. Greef is said to have fallen out of favour with the party top hierarchy due to his association with the beleaguered party secretary general Mpho Balopi, something which he says is “unfounded”. Greef told this publication that “there are some with mischievous attempts here, but I will sort them out.”
Insiders, however, reveal that it is Madigele who has been causing unrest in the constituency as he plots his comeback to parliament in 2024. This is notwithstanding the fact that Madigele has also been promised the position of secretary general, should the party faithful ratify a proposal by the party politburo to reconfigure the position.
However, Madigele does not want to count on the SG position, hence the decision to to contest the Gaborone Bonnington South constituency. There are reports that there is a spirited campaign by some party members to reject a mulled plan to have the SG being a full-time employee of the party. This has irked Greef and has since approached the party structures for redress. “We are writing this letter to issue a complaint regarding misconduct by certain members of the BDP in our constituency.
There are several incidents where these individuals have been causing uncalled-for disruptions during party activities in Gaborone Bonnington South,” a letter penned by Greef, addressed to the regional chairperson, reads. He further added, “The group of people who are causing all these unnecessary tension in our constituency is identified and allegedly known by Madigele’s teams who is said to be campaigning for 2023 primary elections.
As the branch we witnessed the same team with similar misconduct during Bophirima Ward by election which we believe caused the party to lose the ward and continue to bring the image of the party in disrepute.” Lately, Madigele has relocated to the same constituency and that has created anxiety to Greef who is a first-time MP. Greef is concerned about how his rival was accepted in his constituency without his knowledge. If he had his wish, he would kick out Madigele from the constituency.
Greef, in another letter copied to President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi and Chairman Slumber Tsogwane, says Madigele has brought the branch into disarray by campaigning for a parliamentary seat contrary to the party’s regulations for conduct of primary elections. “I therefore humbly appeal to you to call Dr Madigele, who is not a member of our branch, to order,” he said. Party officials in the region are aware of the matter; some say the MP’s complaint is baseless. However, the MP, according to sources, will fight to the bitter end to ensure that his arch rival is purged out.
Monthe and Marumo Attorneys who are representing suspended Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katlholo in a legal dispute pitting him against the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) have said that they would submit a legal bill to the agency.
This was after DCEC’s acting Director General, Tshepo Pilane had written a letter to the law firm demanding that some files and documents belonging to the agency be returned. “We refer to your letter dated 3rd June 2022 wherein you advised of termination of our mandate. In view thereof we have to file a notice of withdrawal as attorneys of record for and on behalf of the Organisation (DCEC),” Monthe Marumo Attorneys said in their letter.
The lawyers also indicated that, “the firm is in the process of finalizing your invoice and upon settlement of same, we will duly release the contents of the file, in so far as it relate to DCEC.” Pilane had informed the law firm that, “Following the Directorate’s termination of any and/or mandate between the Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and your law firm and/or attorney of an Associate law firm of Monthe Marumo and Company on the 3rd June 2022.”
He added that, “I do hereby request that all DCEC documents in custody be returned to the DCEC on or before 12hours today the 6th June 2022. You are also informed that none of this information shall be used by your office under any circumstances.” Meanwhile Katlholo has told the High Court that the Directorate of Intelligence and Security was on the rampage as it continues to act with impunity.
He revealed this in an urgent application in which he seeks among others that Pilane, Deputy Director General of DCEC Priscilla Israel and the agency’s senior legal advisor Edwin Batsalwelang to be committed to jail for contempt of a court. The Court order had directed that a deputy sheriff should collect files and dockets from the DCEC office and place them into the custody of the Court. “Consequent to the order of his Lordship, the DISS has continued on its rampage and has arrested two officers of the DCEC and detained them in a Hitler style arrangement,” said Katlholo.
He added that, quite clearly the “DISS with the assistance of the 1st to 3rd Respondents seeks to conceal all the evidence by obstructing Judicial process.” He said his latest current application has been brought at the earliest opportunity following defiance and acts of obstruction at the instance of the respondents. Katlholo saidthe conduct of the Pilane, Israel, Batsalelwang and DIS are an aggression on the rule of law, the Constitution of Botswana and the Judiciary in general.
“The DISS clearly has every intention of continuing to defy my rights and with the due assistance of the 1st to 3rd Respondents (Pilane, Israel and Batsalelwang). To refuse an interdict, thereby allowing the perpetration of an ongoing wrong is an anathema to the principle of legality,” said Katlholo. He said, “The DISS cannot be allowed to continue acting in contravention of the law, and to fragrantly invade an act of Parliament.”
He reiterated that the files or documents or dockets remain vulnerable and there is need that they be removed from the office and placed in the custody of the Registrar. There can never be a safe place than Court, said Katlholo. “Should the matter not be heard as urgent, the likelihood of the files concerned and the information therein dissipating or being interfered with is high and once the evidence of the concerned files has been compromised or contaminated there is no other relief in law that fix such, there is therefore no alternative remedy,” he said.
Katlholo added that, “Most importantly, any unwarranted access to the files may compromise the integrity of ongoing investigations and expose informants and whistleblowers. Once they have been compromised, no court action may restore such.” He said it was necessary and extremely urgent that the Court steps in to protect the rule of law against the respondents, more particularly the DIS and its agents.
The United States through its State Department’s annual report on global religious freedoms is keeping tabs on Botswana’s decision to arrest of controversial pastor Thuso Tiego by the police.
The report was released a week ago. Tiego was re-arrested this week by the police after he allegedly attempted to spearhead a campaign aimed at shutting down some shops that are run by foreigners. The US’ State Department report says Police arrested a pastor from the Bethel Transfiguration Church September 7 when he tried to deliver a petition to President Mokgweetsi Masisi demanding his resignation over what the pastor said was mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis.
“The pastor, Thuso Tiego, also criticized the government for restricting religious gatherings at a time when he said that individuals turned to churches for counselling and support during the pandemic,” the report says. It says Tiego was held overnight at a police station and released without charge. The report cites media reports saying that several of his supporters were beaten by police when they gathered outside the station demanding Tiego’s release.
“The national police service did not announce any disciplinary action against the officers involved,” the report says adding that, “The constitution provides for freedom of religion, with certain exceptions, and protection against governmental discrimination based on creed.” On other related issues, the report said the government continued to pursue court cases involving unregistered churches (sometimes called “fire churches”) coming into the country to “take advantage of” local citizens by demanding tithes and donations for routine services or special prayers.
“The government required pastors of some of those churches to apply for visas – even those from countries whose nationals were normally allowed visa-free entry. The government said in June 2019 that it was reviewing the visa policy for these foreign pastors, but by year’s end had not released the results of this review or announced any changes,” the report says. According to the report, former members of one of the most prominent unregistered churches forced to close in 2019, the Enlightened Christian Gathering, subsequently formed their own smaller, independent churches with local leadership that was ultimately registered by the government.
The report says, under the COVID-19 state of emergency that ended in September, the government limited attendance at religious services to no more than 50 persons at one time and limited services to twice a week. The government also banned all religious gatherings during “extreme social distancing” periods. Although the limits on religious gatherings lasted 18 months and prevented some individuals from fully practicing their faith, most religious groups did not say their freedom of religion was being restricted and stated that the extraordinary measures were necessary for public health
The report says the US Embassy officials engaged with Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, and other religious representatives to discuss religious freedom, interreligious relations, and community engagement. “Topics included government tolerance of minority religious groups, the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on religious expression, and interfaith cooperation to address community challenges,” the report says.
The report says under its broader protections of freedom of conscience, the constitution provides for freedom of thought and religion, the right to change religion or belief, and the right to manifest and propagate religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice, and observance. It says the constitution’s provision of rights also prohibits discrimination based on creed.
The constitution permits the government to restrict these rights in the interest of protecting the rights of other persons, national defense, public safety, public order, public morality, or public health when the restrictions are deemed “reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.” “The state of emergency imposed from March 2020 to September 2021 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which capped the size of regular religious gatherings and meetings, was the first time the government ever exercised this provision,” the report says.