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Works ministry sued for N$4 million over leased “untidy” property

By Eba Kandovazu

The ministry of works and transport is being sued to the tune of over N$ 4 million by BV Investments 422 CC after the ministry reportedly left a property it rented in an “unacceptable” condition and thus needed to be restored to its original state.

The building was, however, being occupied by police officers, after the works ministry leased it to the ministry of safety, who are also cited as second defendants. BV Investments 422 CC says the police officers, being employed by the ministry acted within the scope and cause of their employment when they occupied and left the building in a deplorable state.

The rental contract, according to the company, was renewed for the seventh time in September 2017. The rental amount was N$305,741 per month. According to BV Investments 422 CC, the ministry was obligated to keep the place clean and in a sanitary condition at its own cost to the satisfaction of BV Investments 422 CC.

They further say the agreement was that the ministry would pay costs of utility service fees in connection with water and electricity consumption.

“The first defendant shall be responsible for the replacement of broken lights, toilet seats, doors, door handles, keys, Windows, tiles,and damages due to negligence.

Before handing over the building, the ministry of safety reportedly hired police officers to renovate the building but it was renovated to a deplorable condition with numerous defects, the company claims in its lawsuit.

“The first defendant being the lessee and the second defendant being the occupant are in breach of their obligations in that they failed to hand over the keys despite terminating the lease agreement on 30 November 2019. They failed to return the premises to its original state, having been damaged,” the company argued.

The judgement has since been reserved by Judge Boas Usiku for 17 November.

The company claims, amongst other things, that the property’s motor gate and electrical outlets have been damaged and cause power failure when used, doors are without keys, windows are broken,ceilings are broken, wooden floors have been scuffed and stained and the gutters have not been cleaned. They further argue that the repainting of the building wasn’t properly done.

The company says as a result of the building not being in its original state, they are unable to lease it out to prospective tenants and have thus suffered damages in the amount of N$ 4 535 555.14.

Government Attorney Freddy Kadhila represents the two ministries, while Slysken Makando represents the plaintiff. The minister of finance is also cited as a respondent because of any interest he may have in the matter. No relief is sought against him.

Eba Kandovazu

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