Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Bus-route wars as operators take each other to court

Lobatse High Court judge Maruping Dibotelo recently dismissed a case in which the Botswana Bus Operators Association and Naswi Sech Transport wanted him to interdict and suspend Seabelo Express from operating on the Maun-Phalapye-Phalapye-Maun road because the two applicants did not turn up in Court.

The applicants, in their affidavits, had claimed that the permit was “corruptly and in a flagrant disobedience of the Applicable Act” issued to Seabelo Express by Moses Sebolai, the former Director of Transport.

They said that, on the strength of the illegal permit, Seabelo is touting for passengers on a route he does not have a permit for whilst the said passengers are Naswi Sech passengers as Naswi has a permit for the route which he obtained back in 2003.

Naswi said that Seabelo is also violating the set rules by leaving the station at times he is not supposed to do so and claimed that all efforts Naswi Sech Transport made to have the state intervene in the case of the Director of Transport failed and fell on deaf ears.
The applicants had also said that Naswi Sech Transport was losing money on a daily basis because of this and was suffering irreparable financial damages and would continue to lose if action was not taken against Seabelo Express.
Naswi Sech also said that employees on that route would suffer as they would have to be laid off to fruitlessly search for new jobs.

He said that this country prides itself with zero tolerance for corruption and that immediate action was the only remedy to the incident.

“If the conduct stated above is allowed to continue, members of the public will also suffer if the transport industry is rendered chaotic by Sebolai and Seabelo Express’s conduct. The conduct must be stopped immediately and the respect of law reinstated,” part of the affidavits said.

This reporter was not able to find out why BBOA and Naswi Sech Transport did not turn up in Court.
Charles Gulubane represented the Attorney General.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.