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Riverwalk land claimant back in court


The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Councillor  in the Central District village of Thabala, Kadimo Oremeng, popularly known for his three Million Pula Riverwalk Mall suit against the Government of Botswana and former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Lands and Housing, Elvidge Mhlauli is suing again over a land owned by Cash Bazaar Holdings which he says was was originally his.


Oremeng is suing a certain Patrick Sello Kaote, a resident of Francistown, who he says solely and secretly sold their jointly owned chunk of land in Gabane to Cash Bazaar Holdings after the two failed to sell it to Choppies following the Kweneng Land Board denying them change of land to multi residential use as was per Choppies’ demands.


The two in 2010, according to Oremeng entered into an oral agreement, where Kaote appointed Oremeng as his agent regarding the sale of Kaote’s plot. The agreement according to court papers was that Oremeng shall find a buyer for the land and in return be paid P150 000.00 as commission.


The potential buyer at the time was Mogoditshane Motors who was sourced by Oremeng. They had paid P1 400 000.00 as deposit towards the purchase of the plot. The money was paid back to Mogoditshane Motors when the land was sold back to Cash Bazaar Holdings.


“In 2011, the defendant (Kaote) wrote another letter to his then attorney in which he offered Oremeng P370 000.00 commission for the sale of the same plot, this time to Cacic Enterprises. The said buyer was sourced by Oremeng. The agreed purchase price here was One Million Ten Thousand Pula. The sale referred to above never materialsed as the Land Board did not aceed to the change of land use request from a ploughing field to commercial,” says Oremeng.


Following the denial, the two renewed the land ownership deal for the smooth and speedy sale of the plot, according to Oremeng. Oremeng now was to facilitate the change of land use by the land board and find a buyer.

“The parties now jointly have equal rights to the land and that the parties shall therefore equally share the proceeds of the sale of the land should it find a buyer,” the court papers reveal.


The Chief Executive Officer of Choppies, Ramachandran Otttoppatu then proposed to buy the three hectars land at a tune of P8.2 Million after meeting Oremeng. “The offer is valid subject to the condition that multi residential zoning of the property gets approved by the relevant authorities. Kindly confirm the acceptance of the offer at the earliest,” he said in a letter to both Kaote and Oremeng.


Choppies had already paid the two a deposit of P100 000.00 which was returned after the Land Board refused the change of land use to multi residential use. The land owners then took the matter to the land tribunal. While there, the parties engaged the land board for an out of court settlement beneficial to both parties. “The Land Board made it a condition that for the parties must withdraw the case with the land tribunal,a condition that was granted,” reads the court papers filed by the plaintiff.


“The Land Board then agreed to  a  settlement in terms of which Kaote was allocated 2 hectares within his field and 1 hectar elsewhere, 5.7 hectars then reverted to the Land Board.The Board further agreed to change the land use to commercial,” argues Oremeng in the court papers.


According to Oremeng  it was after this success, that Kaote made a secret deal with Cash Bazaar Holdings  to sell the land to them without his knowledge and consent. The plot was bought by Cash Bazaar Holdings in the sum of six million five hundred thousand Pula, a sum which was paid to Kaote and his legal representative, Yame Tshepo Kebabonye of Sadique Kebonang Attorneys believe  to have been Ten Million Pula before the land agents took their part.


Oremeng and his lawyer argue that Kaote has breached his agreement by failing to pay Oremeng half the price of the purchase as agreed. “The plaintiff has duly perfomed all his obligations per the agreement and has tirelessly worked to get the change of land use of the said property and secure a buyer,” Oremeng’s lawyer, Kebabonye argues in the court papers.


Oremeng and his lawyer say they want the sum of P3 250 000.00 representing half of the purchase price of the sold land. He also wants interest at the rate of 10 percent per annum from the date of breach of full and final payment. The two will be banking on surrounding evidence to prove their case.


Kaote who is represented by  Sekwenyane Legal Practice however denies ever making an agreement of that nature with Oremeng. He argues that Oremeng failed to facilitate change of land use of the plot and further failed to secure a buyer for the land.


Kaote and his lawyers further charge that Oremeng had promised a lot of people the land and had actually appropriated a lot of money from these various individuals, further saying  they had to pay back the money  to avoid frustration of any future sale of the land.

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Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021
Botswana-economic-recovery-depends-on-successful-vaccine-rollout---BoB-

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

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Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021
Inside-the-UB-BDF-fighter-Jet-tragedy-report

Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.

Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”

Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”

The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.

“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.

Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.

Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.

Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.

Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”

In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”

Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.

“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.

Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.

Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.

He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”

Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.

“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.

One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.

A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.

Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.

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Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021
JAKO HUBONA

A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.” 

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.

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