Sunday, January 24, 2021

Nchindo’s company allocating controversial land

Louis Nchindo’s Tourism Development Consortium (TDC) has started disbursing land despite a pending restraining order application by the state.

Prosecutors have rushed to the High Court to complain that the company is stalling the case for a restraining order on the one hand and parcelling out the controversial piece of land on the other hand.

So far, four title deeds have been issued although there is a pending case in which the state seeks to freeze sale of the land or developments of infrastructure, pending the completion of the criminal trial scheduled for the whole of April next year.

As a result, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has filed an application seeking the court to ‘bail’ it out by assisting with directions on how the case should be handled.

In an affidavit filed by Chief Prosecutions Counsel, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae, before Judge Lakhvinder Walia, the state is accusing Nchindo and his co-accused of bad faith.
The Prosecution claims that Nchindo’s lawyers are deliberately failing to file opposing papers while at the same time busy disbursing land. According to the DPP Nchindo’s lawyers do not want the matter to be heard expeditiously because there have to date not filed any papers.

“The information from the Registrar of Deeds office clearly shows that whilst engaging in dilatory tactics on the filing of answering papers, the defendants are, on the other hand, busy transferring subdivisions of Lot 55720, Gaborone, to third parties through their Attorneys, Collins Newman & Company,” the affidavit reads in part.

The state asserts that the sale of land to third parties will work against the state’s application for a restraining order for the sale of land or freezing any ongoing developments on the disputed piece of land.

Ngakaagae contends that if the land goes into third papers the court will be incapacitated in making a ruling.

“The acts of the defendants are, therefore ,clearly intended not to assist the resolution of the application , but to undermine and sabotage the restraining order application and are in bad faith, contemptuous of the court and have the results of making a mockery of the administration of justice,” states the affidavit disposed by Ngakaagae on behalf of the state.

The DPP says that if the case for a restraining order is not heard expeditiously the state may have to follow up all those that purchase plots from the disputed land and joined them individually as part of the case. This exercise, the state argues will further delay the hearing of the case.

Nchindo’s lawyers have filed a notice of opposition to the state’s plea. In one of its letters, Collins Newman states that it is not ready to file any papers for the suit because it is still trying to locate mining magnate Nick Oppenhemeir, whom the defence say is crucial for their case. While the defence wants the day of the case, December 16, to be a mention day, the prosecution on the one hand wants the court to listen to arguments on the restraining order application.

Nchindo, his son Garvas Nchindo, former Debswana employees Joseph Matome and Jacob Sesinyi face numerous corruption charges, which include, among others, that they stole a large piece of state land in Gaborone through Nchindo’s company TDC.

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