SPEDU which is mandated with diversifying the economy of the Selibe Phikwe region after the closure of the copper nickel mine of BCL haeaved a sigh of relief when the Gaborone High Court ruled in their favour regarding the tender for the works contract for the design and build of Phase 1 infrastructure in Bolelanoto and Senwelo industrial sites.
Delivering the judgment which was brought on urgent application by one of the bidders Lempehu Investment, Justice Radijeng dismissed the urgent application saying it is unmeritorious and not urgent. “A party who seeks the indulgence of the court on urgency must meet the two pronged requirements of Order 12 Rule (2) of the Rules of this Court. The applicant has failed to meet both requirements in my assessment,” he said.
Lempehu Investment sought the court indulgence on urgent basis regarding their disqualification on the tender saying they will suffer immense and irreparable harm and prejudice and that it will not be able to get substantial redress at a hearing in due course. The urgency stemmed from the fact that the tender was already awarded to Marcian Concepts and wanted execution of the tender to be stayed pending the finalization of the review application.
SPEDU contended that the matter is not urgent and that Lempehu has not satisfied the requirement for the grant of an interdict and has not established a cause of action.
Justice Radijeng said that Lempehu elected a process of mediation whose outcome is subject to the agreement of the parties for it to be binding and did not pursue a course that would afford them redress on urgent basis from the time of becoming aware of the reasons for the decision of SPEDU. “The Applicant was aware that the mediation process did not have the effect of interdicting the 2nd Respondent from proceeding to award the contract/tender,” he said.
He added that he takes the view holistically that the matter is not urgent and that if it were urgent it is self-created urgency given the manner in which Lempehu elected to proceed on the matter. “In the result I find that the respondents’ point in limine on lack of urgency succeeds. The application is unmeritorious, not urgent and must be dismissed with costs, and I so order,” he closed the case.
The tender for the Design and Build of Phase I Infrastructure in Bolelanoto and Senwelo Industrial Sites was flouted in August 2019 and only awarded in June 2020. The project is intended to lure investors to the once vibrant copper mining town which is speedily turning into a ghost town.
The tender has been awarded to Marcian Concepts (PTY) Ltd at the tune of over P250 million.