Friday, March 5, 2021

BDP lawyers to move for real estate as UDC fails to pay

The Deputy Sheriff in charge of executing a writ of execution issued against Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) 2019 elections petitioners is on the verge of filing a return nulla bona following their failure to avail enough movable property to satisfy the Court of Appeal (CoA) order.

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lawyers are now expected to move for the petitioners’ real estate to raise the remaining amount from the P565, 000 CoA legal bill.

This past Friday two petitioners (Dr Micus Chimbombi and Dr Mpho Pheko)’s motor vehicles went under the hammer but could not raise enough funds to cover the entire bill.

The Deputy Sheriff has also most recently attached Nelson Ramaotwana’s Toyota Hilux to add to the list but it will still not be enough.

Sunday Standard has learnt the petitioners have continued to play a game of hide-n-seek with the Deputy Sheriff, Urgent Chilisa, making it even more difficult for him to expeditiously execute the order.

There was an attempt by one of the petitioners to halt the sale of the two motor vehicles on Friday saying the UDC lawyers would pay a deposit but BDP lawyers Bogopa, Manewe, Tobedza & Co told Sunday Standard late Friday they had not received any communication from their UDC counterparts. “That’s news to us,” they said.

UDC Spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa said recently the party were still trying to raise funds for the bill. He said they had also instructed their 57 branches across the country to assist by raising at least P10, 000 each. Coalition vice president Dumelang Saleshando also met with BDP Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi in mid-December 2020 where he unsuccessfully tried to negotiate easier payment terms.

“We are only third parties in this matter. Everything is in the hands of our legal representatives,” Balopi said in an interview with Sunday Standard following the meeting. “The two of us cannot make decisions on behalf of the BDP. We believe in consultation. And it would not have been right to enter into any agreement with an individual.” 

Some of the petitioners have expressed their anger at what they called false promises by UDC president Duma Boko starting from pre October 2019 General Elections campaigns up to the elections petitions in December the same year.

“We were told to acquire constituency launch services on credit and that the bill would be settled by the party at a later stage but as we speak we are left with all those debts.” It was against these unfulfilled campaign promises that some of the petitioners said they were reluctant to commit their resources to the petitions when they were told the party would foot the legal bill.

The Court of Appeal granted a writ of execution in 2020 against Boko and his co-petitioners in respect of P565, 000 owed to the BDP in legal costs.

The decision followed an unsuccessful attempt by Boko and company to challenge the High Court decision to dismiss their respective applications seeking the court to nullify the 2019 elections results. Another legal bill from BDP lawyers in respect of the High Court petitions still awaits. Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) lawyers Minchin & Kelly have yet to serve the petitioners.

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