FRANCISTOWN: Former Francistown West independent parliamentary candidate, Joseph Mabutho, is suing the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) for P1.5 million for wrongful termination of a tender contract.
Mabutho was awarded a P39,000 tender to cut and destump trees at the BDF Area S camp. The tender was to run for 25 days.
He told The Monitor after his brief court appearance that he was suing the BDF for loss of income among other reasons.
He said that the BDF wasted his time as other people or companies could have contracted him had the army not offered him the tender.
Mabutho, who is one of the directors of Bakkies Ventures, was advised by Judge Zibani Makhwade on Friday to seek the services of an attorney in order to properly pursue his matter.
“You do not seem to be able to state your case properly. In my view I think that you should engage an attorney to help you pursue your matter. The papers before me do not exactly show me how the court should assist you,” said Makhwade.
Mabutho agreed that he was not conversant with court processes, but said that he thought the court was going to guide him to properly lay his claim.
Even the lawyer from the attorney general chambers who is representing the BDF in the matter said that Mabutho’s claim was
The matter was adjourned to June 12 to give Mabutho time to look for an attorney.
In his notice to sue, dated February 27, 2015, Mabutho said that the BDF unilaterally terminated his contract without valid reasons for doing so. He stated that his tender was terminated on account that some trees that he was cutting were falling on the fence, roofs of the houses and power lines at the site of the tender.
“...We are not to blame for the fence issue or any other unforeseen circumstances like disrupting power lines and only want to establish a good working relationship with you,” stated part of Mabutho’s letter addressed to the BDF.
In the letter terminating Mabutho’s contract, the BDF stated that: “Our position in respect to the lowering of the electricity cables and removal of fences to enable you to carry out tasks outlined cannot be acceded to as it is a costly exercise....”
Another letter from the BDF addressed to Mabutho stated in part: “...You should compensate the BDF P11,520 (sic) for the damage you caused to the roofs of some houses that you are aware of.”