Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Nchindo lawyers say refunds on land purchases available

The defense lawyer who appeared for Garvas Nchindo has advised people who bought land from the late Louis Nchindo in Gaborone North to contact Collins and Newman law firm, if they now want their money back.

Out-going Southern Regional Magistrate Lot Moroka ruled that the land was acquired illegally from the government by companies owned by the late Louis Nchindo.

Lawrence Khupe, one of the defense lawyers, said that all the money that was used to buy land from his clients is currently in their coffers and they are ready to pay out to anyone who wants his or her money back.

”We are willing to pay back to those who want to claim back their money as we have it in our company accounts and have not spent a thebe from it,” he said.

There have been rumours that the money could have been spent on the high profile criminal case, which has seen foreign lawyers flown into the country from South Africa.

Khupe denies these reports saying, “Like I have just said we have the money in the company accounts and are ready to pay out to those who want their money back.”

On whether all is lost after Moroka’s judgment, which ordered that the land be returned to the government, Khupe said, “There is nothing to fear as the case is far from coming to an end.”

Khupe said, so far, less than 10 people have already claimed their money and were fully paid, which he said is proof that the money is held in the company accounts of Collins and Newman as they have always said.

Khupe said this when commenting on the recent move by the defense and prosecution, which saw the restraining order application sought by government in order to restrain those who bought the disputed land from developing it, withdrawn from the High Court where it had been set before Lobatse High Court judge, Lashkavinder Walia.

Khupe said, as the defense team, they had agreed that there was no need to continue with the restraining order application as Moroka had made a final decision on the land, which they have since appealed against.

The two parties agreed that land will not be returned to either the government or to Debswana before the appeal is heard.

Gopolang Tlhabologang, who was amongst the team representing the DPP in the matter, said, ”All I can say at this stage is that the land has been returned to the rightful owners: Debswana and the Government of Botswana.”

Nchindo was given a suspended sentence for corruption and his family businesses fined whilst Joe Matome was given a three-year custodial sentence and is currently out on bail.

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