A woman has accused the Sinohydro Company of placing her life and safety in jeopardy, by refusing to pay her company for the sub-contracted work they did for them.
She claims that the none payment has agitated employees who have allegedly since made threats of physical violence on her and whoever else is involved.
Tiny Gaebolae Jautse, the owner of Limpopo Squirrels, an all around Construction Company, said that she had a painting job that her company did for Sinohydro at Sir Seretse Khama Airport, but upon completion, the money was not paid to her.
Jautse said that she decided to run to the papers because she had nowhere else to turn after some of her workers had already indicated that they would turn violent if she did not pay them their dues.
She said that she had engaged ten of her workers to paint trusses for Sinohydro at the airport.
“These guys are not listening; they need their money and they are now getting impatient,” she said. “Just the other day, they came to my house at night demanding that I pay them for the work they did at the airport under my instruction.”
She quoted the employees as saying that they were being ignored now because they were peaceful but the minute they turn violent, the police and Sinohydro will start taking them seriously “after something regrettable has happened”.
She said that she had approached the police based at the airport for help but they had told her that her issue was with Sinohydro, so she should resort to working out the issues with them instead.
One of her employees, who refused to be named for fear of victimization, said that although he wasn’t amongst those that had gone to Jautse‘s house late at night, he had heard about the incident. He said that the workers are angry because they had no money to pay their rent, buy food or for transport and they were starting to blame their employer.
Jautse then went to seek help from the Chinese Embassy, where a certain Xu Ming had called the Sinohydro people and advised them to either pay her or disqualify the work she had done for them.
Xu Ming of the Chinese Embassy confirm that Jautse had come to his office to complain about her alleged delayed payment from Sinohydro and asked him to intervene.
“The key aspect shouldn’t be the claims she is making as such but that Botswana has a rule of law concerning these things. I think that she should follow this law and she could take them to court if she believes what she is saying to be true,” said Ming.
In an interview with the Sunday Standard, an employee at Sinohydro, Ding Xiaofei, who dealt with Limpopo Squirrels, said that Jautse’s allegations leveled against the company were completely false and without merit. According to Ding, Jautse had a problem with the English language so when she was first given the contract, she took it home with her so that somebody could explain it to her but she never brought it back.
“The quality of the work that she did was bad, but I told her I didn’t care about that so we gave her the measurements that we took for the parts she painted, which she declared as false. She was initially supposed to be paid after concurring with the measurements. I told her to take her own measurements; but she came with completely different ones, she is the one who has been stalling,” said Ding.
Ding said the company had never refused to pay her, and this could be proved by the fact that they still have good working relationships with their past sub-contractors, and that she was the one who was always giving them problems.
Ding said that he is the one who is always trying to get in touch with Jautse in order for them to resolve their issues. According to him, Jautse had admitted to him that what she said at the embassy was false. He said that he is worried that her false allegations might drag the company’s good name in the mud.