Saturday, October 24, 2020

Government wants Nchindo to stop land development

The Directorate of Public Prosecution has filed an urgent application with the High Court in Lobatse to stop former Debswana Managing Director Louis Nchindo from servicing and selling sub-divided plots from his controversial piece of land at Gaborone block 10.

DPP last Friday filed an urgent application, citing Louis Nchindo, his developer company, Tourism Development Consortium, his son Garvas Nchindo and colleague Joe Matome and asked for an order to stop them from “registering sub divisions, mortgaging, reticulation, excavation, demarcation, alienation, sale, cession of rights, change of use, or any form of alteration whether it be actual or constructive” on the controversial plot.
In a curious turn of events, the DPP application comes after the Attorney General had instructed had the Registry of Deeds to process sale transaction to Nchindo.

Government has already prepared a title deed for the controversial land and was processing the sale transaction.

The Registrar of Deeds has been cited as the first respondent while the Town and Country Planning Board has been cited as the second respondent.

Indications are that the Directorate of Public Prosecutions may end up squaring up with the Attorney General’ Chambers in court should the Registrar of Deeds and the Town and Country Planning Board defend the court action.

The Attorney General, Athaliah Molokomme, told Sunday Standard this week that she could not comment as she has not received any instructions from the two government departments cited as first and second respondents. She said at this stage she was not sure if the two departments had been cited nominally.

The decision by DPP is also expected to have far reaching implications for the project financiers.

Tourism Development Company last year concluded a number of multimillion Pula agreements in relation to the development of the controversial plot, including heads of agreements with Legacy Limited (a listed South African company, involved with up market hotels and developments.”)
The company has also entered into agreements with a number of companies and consultants for the construction and installation of services and infrastructure, and sale agreements for residential and commercial properties.
Tourism Development Consortium is understood to have sold more that P100 million worth of plots at the contested plot. The company has also concluded a financing agreement with Stanbic Bank for P74 million, for which Nchindo has stood as personal surety.

A considerable amount of infrastructural work has already been carried out of the property (including the laying and tarring of roads, and the construction of storm water drains for which the contractors are demanding payment.)
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions argues that the controversial plots are proceeds of corruption.

Former President Festus Mogae, Education Minister and former Minister of Lands and Housing, Jacob Nkate, former assistant Minister Margaret Nasha, Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Bank of Botswana Governor Linah Mohohlo, former Minister of Mineral Resources and Water Affairs and Current Ambassador Boometswe Mokgothu, former Minister Tebelelo Seretse and a number of senior government officials are expected to testify during the urgent application.

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