BY DUNCAN KGANGKENNA AND MPHO KELEBOGE
AXIS Studio, Boipuso de Witt consulting and Boaba Investment construction companies are suing the Botswana Football Association (BFA) for somersaulting on a contractual agreement to develop a football academy.
They accuse the BFA of using their work to secure funding from financiers and failure to appoint them to develop a football academy infrastructure.
The companies, represented by Minchin and Kelly Attorneys, are demanding the BFA to pay P4, 626, 179.01 (Four million six hundred and twenty six thousand, one hundred and seventy nine and one thebe) with 10% interest per annum for refusing, neglecting and or failing to pay for services they rendered.
The companies were engaged to draw plans for the academy that the BFA is eager to develop. The companies accuse the BFA of reneging on pre-development agreement. They demand the BFA to pay for architectural, quantity surveying and project coordination services rendered.
According to the court papers the BFA around May 2017 entered into an oral agreement with the 3rd BOABA investments represented by its managing director, Ofemile Molojwane. The material terms of the agreement were that BOABA investments was involved in the services of architects, quantity surveyors, civil and mechanical and electoral engineers who would provide their services on a risk basis during the pre-development phase.
No payment fees were made for the pre-development phase on the understanding that the same architects, quantity surveyors, civil and mechanical and electrical engineers would be appointed for the final development phase of the project.
The BFA utilised the services provided by the companies to secure funding for the final development phase of the project but the BFA did not engage them as per the agreement.
The court papers further suggest that at the development stage, and particularly on or about October 2017, as the project was in the final stages of the pre-development phases, the BFA had a meeting with its funders, whereupon it was recommended that the three companies be considered and appointed for the final development phases.
The court papers say a meeting was convened on the 8th August2018 involving all the parties of which no resolution was arrived at. They were neither remunerated for all the services rendered during the pre-development phase nor engaged for the final development phase.
Contacted for comment, BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo rubbished the claim.
“We have never seen any summons from the said companies. II only saw it on social media. The project is not ours. We are the primary beneficiary of the project” explained Mfolo. He said the BFA are not the funders of the project and there was no how the BFA could enter into a contract for the project that is not theirs. “ INEOS are the owners of the project. Their consultants are based in Capetown and they were there when those guys made a presentation to the BFA” he said.
Mfolo said the BFA met Axis Studio directors sometime last year around October and November and engaged them on face values. “They said they have seen papers (media) and it looks like the project was at an advanced stage but the BFA has not talked to them. We told them that the project is not ours, is for INEOS”
Mfolo said the Botswana National Sport Commission in principle has agreed to allocate them land to develop the football academy.