High Court Justice, Ranier Busang has this week (Friday) put another nail on the coffin of China Jiangsu in a matter dealing with legal costs for Moshupa Primary Hospital.
China Jiangsu had filed a review of PPADB’s decision to award the tender (no. WOR/7/6/8) to their rival company Zhengtai Group Botswana (Pty) Ltd.
“The only issue for determination here is the liability for costs. It is ordered as follows: the government (PPADB, Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Attorney General) are awarded the costs of the application up to and including the date of this judgement,” Justice Busang ordered on Friday while adding that such costs shall be agreed or taxed.
Busang explained that China Jiangsu had wanted the government to pay the costs of the case or alternatively for each party to bear its own costs but the Judge disagreed.
“It is also not clear on the China Jiangsu’s submissions, when it realised that the ship has sailed away from the port and the contribution of the government to its sailing which justifies an order for costs against them,” he reasoned before adding that any order for costs should be justified in law and in facts.
He continued to state that the court would only make an order for costs against the government if the blame leading to the discontinuation, withdrawal and termination of the proceedings can be placed on the government’s door step.
“I am not convinced, regard being had to the totality of the conspectus of this case, that an order for costs against the government would be justified. In fact the contrary should be the case,” the Judge ruled.
He explained in the verdict that the notice of motion by China Jiangsu intended to impugn the tender won by Zhengtai on several grounds including illegality, irregularity, arbitrariness and legitimate expectation.
China Jiangsu notice, filed on the 26th September 2019 and heard on the 7th October 2019, sought default orders setting aside the award; setting aside the contract between Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development and Zhengtai Group Botswana and the granting of the order substituting PPADB’s decision by granting the award to China Jiangsu.
The matter came after the Chinese company unsuccessfully prosecuted an urgent interdict application to stay the conclusion of the contract between the Ministry of Ministry of Land Management and Water Sanitation and Zhengtai.
In the matter, the Court of Appeal refused to rule for the reversal of the cancellation of P1.5 billion tender bid for China Jiangsu (Pty) Ltd in Maun. The appeal arose from a dispute over the tender which was for the design, supply and building of water distribution network, sanitation, reticulation, telemetry and scada, and other associated works in Maun.
The case, won by Zhengtai, was seen as very important to the community because the decision was to either beneficially or adversely affect the lives of the community which the tender intended to benefit.
Another consideration on the matter against disposing the case on technicalities was the tender sum of 400 million of tax payers’ money and for that reason of interest to the public who desire that the project be implemented without interruption which could further cause the delay.
On awarding the tender to Zhengtai, PPADB was also acting on behest of the DISS which has alleged that China Jiangsu was involved in corrupt practices and therefore a national security threat.
China Jiangsu International Botswana (Pty) Ltd (applicants) were represented by Kgalalelo Monthe and Advocate John Peter while Tshiamo Rantao stood in for PPADB; and Ministry of Land Management and Water Sanitation and Charles Gulubane from the Attorney General Chambers.
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.
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.
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.