BCP Loses Tautona Lodge Case Against State


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The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has lost the Tautona Lodge controversial case against the State.

On the 14th of February 2022, the plaintiffs, BCP, its leader Dumelang Saleshando alongside Goretetse Kekgonegile who is the party’s Secretary General approached the court demanding for the reviewing and setting aside of government’s decision to acquire the entire shareholding of Tautona Lodge at the objection of the State. 

The State in response challenged that the plaintiffs had failed to file their papers within the prescribed period. The matter which was heard before the Maun High Court was presided by a panel of three judges being, Godfrey Nthomiwa, Barnabas Nyamadzabo and Omphemetse Motumise, the judgement of which was delivered on Wednesday this week.

On the issue of prescribed period the court then subsequently agreed with the State that they were entitled to set the matter down. “In our view the plaintiffs/Respondents brought their review proceedings late without having obtained the requisite leave and further they failed to file their answer to the application to strike out within the prescribed period of 14 days. The plaintiffs action is therefore dismissed accordingly,” the court ruled.

On the issue of costs, the judges said in their view, the Plaintiffs’s conduct throughout this case warrant punitive cost to be ordered against them and the costs were subsequently awarded on attorney own client scale.

“We believe that the plaintiffs acted with mala fide by bringing an action which they knew could have been brought as a review application. Where one deliberately adopts a procedure intended at avoiding adverse legal consequences and safeguards he is clearly abusing court procedures and therefore risks his case being dismissed,” they stated.

In conclusion the judges therefore ordered that the Plantiffs’ action be dismissed and that costs are ordered at attorney own client scale.

In 2021 government confirmed that it has purchased Tautona Lodge through a direct appointment for about P58 million. The decision received criticism from opposition parties as well some members of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party who argued that the secret acquisition was misuse of power and funds by government amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

The BCP subsequently issued a statutory notice in an effort to challenge the purchasing of the lodge.


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