Gaborone City Council (GCC) is suing Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President and Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central Dumelang Saleshando for unlawfully erecting posters or advertising structures at Orapa House Junction traffic lights, River walk traffic lights, Molapo crossing traffic lights and every other traffic lights.
GCC relies on Road Traffic Act Chap 69.01, section 102 which provides that, any person who, without the written permission of the appropriate road authority ÔÇô encroaches on a road or any land reserved, at the side or sides by making or erecting any building, fence, ditch, advertisement sign or other obstacle or by digging or by planting or sowing any tree, shrub or seeds shall be guilty of an offence and shall be sentenced to not less than P100.00 or more than P500.00 or to imprisonment for a term of not less than two months or more than six months or to both.
Saleshando is cited as Second Respondent while his party is the First Respondent. According to the court papers GCC filled an urgent application ordering that Saleshando and his party remove the said posters or advertising structures and restore possession of land to GCC with immediate effect.
GCC want the court to interdict and restrain Saleshando and the BCP from further erecting similar posters and advertising structures on council area without consent of the council. GCC want the matter to be treated as urgent, claiming that the erected posters and advertising structures are a public safety hazard and an obstruction to traffic. GCC claims that as the responsible regulating authority it stands to suffer the potential law suits in the event that any injury occurs as a result of the erected posters and advertising structures because Saleshando and his party did not approach GCC to ensure that the posters and advertisement have been properly inspected in terms of the law.
Council argues that Saleshando and his party may even encourage the practice of same by others as this is setting a precedent which will escalate legal costs as the council will have to make more applications to curb a continuous plethora of unauthorized erection of posters and advertising structures since the council has a mandate to ensure adherence to relevant laws in bill board advertising. In their response the BCP and the party president represented by attorney Martin Dingake argued that the entire application be struck off.
They argue that there are no causalities linked to the traffic lights mentioned by the council. Dingake argues that the party president has been improperly and unnecessarily joined as a respondent and has been embarrassed by same and put to unnecessary expenses by being required to attend to court and secure the services of an attorney to represent him. The case was supposed to be heard by Lobatse High Court Judge Modiri Letsididi last Friday but was postponed to be heard tomorrow by High Court Judge Key Dingake. GCC is represented by Tholoana Phooko of Tholoana Phooko attorneys.