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Fight over parking spot

Monarch truck owner defies Francistown City Council

Francistown City Council has applied for a court order to evict a defiant truck owner whose fleet of over 20 trucks have been parked at either side of Engen Filling Station, causing tension between him and residents of Monarch.

Joseph Machinya of Machinya Trucking, was given 21 days to remove his trucks, trailers and all other machinery from the roadside. He was also ordered to rehabilitate the soil, since a lot of oil has seeped through the ground.

However the 21 days have long elapsed and Machinya’s trucks are still hugging both side of the tiny road leading to the only filling station in the area.

The business man had until 13th February to have complied with the Land Tribunal order, but it is now 22 days from the set deadline.

In an interview with The Voice on Wednesday FCC Town Clerk, Lopang Pule said Machinya has left them with no choice but to apply for an eviction order.

“This is a legal matter. Such issues take time, but we are going ahead with the application for a forcible removal,” he said.

Pule said they’re still hopeful that Machinya will comply with the court order to avoid a situation where his trucks may have to be towed out of town.

“We’re hoping it won’t get to that, remember if we engage someone to remove the trucks he’ll have to bear the costs,” warned Pule, adding that they have also reminded him that he has the right to appeal to the High Court.

In an earlier interview with The Voice, Machinya said he was going to appeal the court order.

However, Pule said one should appeal when they have prospects of Success. “His reasons are that he’s a young entrepreneur with no place to park his trucks. It is understandable but that does not give him any right to illegally occupy land,” charged Pule.

According to Monarch area Councillor Gopolang Almando, the illegally parked trucks have become a danger to motorists whose view is blocked by the imposing trucks.

The councilor who’s leading the campaign to remove Machinya’s vehicles said since the trucks arrived early last year they have had five motor vehicle accidents around the filling stations, the highest number of accidents recorded in a year.

“Those trucks are an eyesore and a danger to even our children,” charged Almando.

Almando said he’ll not rest until the trucks are removed and the safety of Monarch’s children is assured.

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