John Muyamba Rundu-Rundu-based property developer Armstrong Properties and Construction last Friday lodged its case with the High Court against the Rundu Town Council over a botched land deal. The firm wants the Rundu Town Council to pay it N$337 million for irregularly cancelling a private public-partnership (PPP) agreement signed between the two parties. Armstrong Properties wants compensation for servicing 600 plots on which they intended to develop 600 housing units through a PPP agreement signed with the council. The council’s contribution to the project was to avail virgin land, while Armstrong Properties was to service the land and construct houses. “Yes, our lawyers have registered the case in the High Court. The sheriff will deliver the claim – if the council feels they don’t want the claim then they will have to write to the High Court to defend,” Armstrong representative, Ferdinand Olavi, said yesterday. Rundu acting CEO Fransiska Thikerete professed ignorance on being dragged to court. “We have to wait for the summons … then we will take it from there,” she said. Armstrong company was scheduled to develop a new suburb on an 82-hectare plot in an area south of the Rundu-Nkurenkuru road in Rundu. The project would have been the first suburb to be developed by local investors in the town. The problem started when council lawyers told Armstrong Properties that they should forget the PPP agreement and rather buy the land at N$25 per square metre or give it back to the town council. But Armstrong Properties, which contended that the council in recent years sold huge tracts of land to a Chinese firm for less than N$5 per square metre, turned down the price and decided to give back the land only on condition the town council pays the cost spent on servicing the 600 plots. According to information given to New Era the council wanted the two parties to renegotiate the deal but Armstrong said they could not. “We couldn’t renegotiate as that will invalidate what’s in the contract – we can’t, it’s a signed contract. We however are willing to pay the N$5 per square metre, which we have in the PPP contract, plus 50 percent profit as stipulated in the contract. Any changes to the contract are not welcome,” Olavi noted.
2018-03-05 09:50:35 6 months ago