Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Relocated Maun residents sue government for over P5 million

Two hundred and fifty six people who were relocated to pave way for the expansion of the Maun airport are suing government for over P5 million for breach of contract.

In their class action suit, filed with the Francistown High Court on the 27th of July 2010, the residents contend that sometime in 1997, the parties agreed that the plaintiff would be relocated to a new site so that government could expand the Maun airport into the area in which they had hitherto inhabited.

In their suit, the residents claim that government undertook to pay 40 percent relocation allowance to each family, 10 percent escalation or interest to each of the affected families as well as five percent for the delayed repayment, which needed reassessment and an additional three percent contribution towards relocation as water connection related charges.

The government further undertook to transport school children who were affected by the relocation until a school was found where such children could attend until a new school was constructed at their new area of relocation.

The residents, however, aver that to date the affected persons have not been compensated as agreed and are, therefore, suing government for breach of agreement in the amount of P5 092 933.91, which they consider to be damages arising from such breach of contract.

The plaintiffs plead in their court papers that there was a contract between them and the government and that the government has unilaterally breached the contract when it ought not to have done so and in the circumstances pray the court to order government to pay them damages in the sum of P5 092 033.91.

Further to the claim, the residents seek interest on the claimed amount at the rate of 10 percent per annum from the date of the judgment and cost of suit.

It is the plaintiffs’ case that it was agreed that all adults who are 21 years old and self supporting would be allocated plots around the area they had been moved to but the Tawana Land Board has since reneged on the undertaking.

The plaintiffs allege that they complained to the Office of the then Vice President where both the Director of Civil Aviation and the Lands Department undertook to comply with the undertaking but have to date not done so.

It is further alleged that the Tawana Land Board has not made payment in terms of the agreement thereby prompting the class suit.

The case is scheduled to be heard by Francistown High Court judge Justice Modiri Letsididi on a date yet to be set. The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Tshekiso Tshekiso of Kgalemang and Associates law firm while government is represented by the Attorney General’s Chambers.

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