- Allegedly ill-treated and assaulted client wants FNBB to account
- Says he was imprisoned for an FNB loan he long settled
- Bank failed to update its records and client’s debt portfolio
- Client rejects bank’s out of court settlement bid
- Trial continues today in court
First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) finds itself in a messy legal tussle in which a client, Moses Boarekwe Moses, has taken it to court for alleged injustices that he says he has suffered as a result of the bank’s recklessness.
Moses says he was persecuted and prosecuted over a loan facility that he had long settled. He has slapped FNBB with a P25 million suit following a collapsed out of court settlement bid by the bank.
The case, according to court documents that this publication obtained, is that on or about June 2010, Moses entered into a personal loan agreement with FNBB for a loan amount of P150,000 that he later struggled to service. Consequent to that, FNBB issued a Writ of Summons through the High Court, claiming payment of P105,670 as the outstanding capital loan balance. Moses moved swiftly to settle the bill, a deposit which he says FNBB neglected to capture, to his detriment.
“It follows that, rather unfortunately, FNBB refused, omitted, neglected and/or failed to advise its lawyers to stop the lawsuit for the cleared personal loan account and/or failed to update its records and/or Plaintiff’s debt portfolio to reflect the aforesaid Loan Account Deposits Payments, and, as a result, the Loan Account Deposits slips were not captured in Plaintiff’s loan account statement, and this resulted in the Plaintiff’s loan account reflecting a false and incorrect capital loan balance of P105,670 despite Plaintiff having made two Loan Account Deposits in total of P110,302 for the purpose of clearing arrears and closure of the Loan Account No. 4000001284307,” reads the plaintiff’s papers.
“Furthermore, despite Plaintiff’s loan deposits into the Loan Account, 1st Defendant nonetheless proceeded to unlawfully and maliciously obtain Judgment against Plaintiff in the capital sum of P105, 670 together with interest and costs of suit – on 6th November 2015, when the Plaintiff had already made the Loan Account Deposits on the 25th November 2011 and 5th January 2012.”
Following the writ, a Warrant of Execution for Imprisonment of Debt was issued against Plaintiff on 3rd March 2017 and, 1stDefendant’s Attorneys subsequently instructed 2nd Defendant to execute the said Warrant by virtue of a memo dated 9th November 2017, according to court papers. The incidents that preceded the arrest were assault, hostility and brutality which were later followed by a week-long unlawful imprisonment.
Court records show that Moses was incarcerated at Gaborone Maximum Security Prison from 4th June 2018 to 8th June 2018, being a period amounting to five days, before being released by FNBB. Following that ordeal, the plaintiff reached out to the bank which later offered a settlement fee of P75 000 which was rejected by the plaintiff.
In a letter to the plaintiff, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Steven Bogatsu, said: “I have carefully considered the issues raised by you, both at our meeting and in your letter under reply. Having considered all the facts and issues raised, I am of the view that the without prejudice settlement offer extended to you by the bank is, holistically a fair and reasonable offer. As a result, whilst the bank sincerely regrets your incident and whilst the bank remains committed to the achievement of an amicable resolution to the issues, I believe that in all the circumstances, the without prejudice offer made to you by the bank, is one which accords with the applicable Botswana legal framework and principles. I thus implore you to reconsider the bank’s offer with a view to accepting same accordingly.”
Moses rejected the offer and instead took the bank to court and now demands P25 million for assault, undignified treatment and medical conditions. The case is before Justice Omphemetse Motumise of Gaborone High court for a three-day trial which commenced yesterday (Tuesday). The bank is represented by Armstrongs Attorneys while the plaintiff is represented by Sikhumbuzo Masuku of Masuku legal firm.