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Sebetela, Ngwato Land Board dispute reaches the High Court

The dispute between Ngwato Land Board (NLB) and former cabinet minister Boyce Sebetela over a certain piece of land in Palapye has escalated to the High Court. In 2015, the Ngwato Land Board served Sebetela with a notice to treat in respect of his farms situated at Morupule Lands as per section 32 of the Tribal Land Act.

Sebetela in his founding affidavit stated that in the notice the state clearly indicated its intention to acquire the piece of land in the public interest under section 32 of the Tribal Land Act for the construction of Morupule Coal Mine Open Cast. “I was directed to stop all improvements to the land from the date of the said notice and have cooperated accordingly. Consequently, my family have looked for and acquired land for resettlement at Thabala (for cattle rearing), Paje (for small stock and arable farming) and at Makoro. Thabala plot is 970 hectors. Our cattle count currently sits around 265 cattle,” Sebetela highlighted.

He mentioned that his land was assessed and inspected for compensation between April 8 and June 2015 on the basis of the schedule of compensation of rates for Tribal Areas.  On May 2016, Sebetela received the first complete assessment report from NLB. He swiftly responded to the communiqué and provided a detailed counter-claim with solid evidence for all the improvements that were done in his farms.

 The one time Palapye Member of Parliament strongly believes that the NLB assessment report among other shortcomings had omissions on assets, wrong sizes and measurements of land and fencing parameters.  “The assessment did not comply with Tribal Land Act, Section 33 subsection 2 a-c which outlines the components of adequate compensation,” Sebetela argues in his affidavit.

On November 2016 after several months of negotiations, NLB issued a resolution granting Sebetela P 26 914 023.97 and he was given a day to respond to the offer. The amount was later corrected to P27 704 557.23 late in the afternoon of the same day.  “After further deliberations, NLB issued the final compensation assessment report amounting to P26 230 763.45 on December 2016.

The land board in their resolution granted leave to pursue other avenues to deal with issues they could not address. We agreed with NLB that outstanding issues should not delay the construction of Morupule Coal Mine Open Cast and that payment would be made immediately so that the project continue and we could also continue with our lives,” said Sebetela.

He explained that NLB delayed in processing payment and that has disadvantaged his family grossly. He added, “The delays by NLB deliberately violate section 8 of the Constitution which calls for the prompt payment of adequate compensation.” Sebetela through his attorney, Kaizer Sechele has issued a statutory notice to sue Ngwato Land Board.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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