The aftermath of Kgabo Commission and presidential pardon are still yet to tumble out before a taskforce committee that is yet to be fully operational.
The taskforce is expected to come up with some permanent solution to the land matters in Gabane-Mmankgodi that could eventually become a model for curbing the ongoing land scramble across the country.
According to the presidential pardon of 2008, Lt. Gen. Ian Khama then directed that the residents of the disputed areas, including Tsolamosese and Mogoditshane, pay the Landboards not more than P10 000 and undertake substantive ownership of the land equipped with land title certificates and this, to many, did not effect.
In addition Kgabo commission report liberated many of the residents, especially at Nkoyaphiri and Tsolamosese for any misdemeanor but the landboards set aside the recommendations and unleashed the ‘yellow monster’ to raze their homesteads and shacks.
WeekendPost can reveal that next week Minister of Lands and Housing Prince Maele is scheduled to meet a selected four-person team from Gabane- Mmankgodi constituency. It is anticipated the minister will probably use this opportunity to announce his full task force from the Ministry as he takes head-on, the land crisis currently besieging the entire nation and threatening its harmony.
The taskforce is the culmination of numerous Kgotla meetings between Minister Maele, area legislator Pius Mokgware, Molepolole Landboard and Mogoditshane Sub-landboard officials and residents that resolved that a special committee be set up to investigate the land matters in the area and recommend appropriate remedial measures.
A highly placed source in the constituency confirmed to this publication, saying: “Yes, it’s true we will be meeting Minister Maele next week on the land crisis in our area. We hope he will then tell us exactly when the taskforce will start its work.”
However, the source insisted that he would not say much because the issue was still an internal matter.
Once operational, the taskforce will look into, among others, the Kgabo Commission and the Presidential Pardon as declared on illegal squatters.
The newly crafted ‘internal terms’ of reference for the committee, however, state that in relation to the Presidential Pardon and Kgabo Commission, it shall establish those who have fully paid the penalties but are yet to have their plots regularized and the cause of the delay.
It shall also establish “the numbers of those who have not fully paid the penalties but are willing to pay and what initiatives are in place by the land board to help them.”
According to the confidential terms of reference, the taskforce will also investigate all plots allocated by Bogosi and establish if all such plot owners have been issued with certificates.
“If findings indicate that some of those allocations are still without certificates, the committee shall identify why the land board is delaying such allocations.”
In addition, the taskforce shall establish how many people have long applied to regularize their plots and land they obtained through inheritance, and why the landboard is delaying action on their application.
Furthermore, the probe team will also establish why the land board acquired land without consulting and compensating farmers in some cases, for example, in Nkoyaphiri Industrial and Ledumadumane.
The new-fangled commission will also find out the number of people who had made agreements with the landboard to allocate their children plots when their ploughing fields were acquired.
Investigators will specifically want to know as “to why in some cases the landboard failed to honour the agreement of allocating such children or some of them, and also, and why some children were denied allocation of plots on their obtained parents fields only because they got married or were married to land right holders”.
Moreover, the taskforce shall determine why the landboard is inconsistent in its land compensation as some farmers are compensated with plots why others the land board insists on monetary compensation.
“We will also establish why in some cases the land board refused to regularize mekgoro (homesteads) of those whose farms were acquired; establish what the land board intends to do with cases where a farmer was compensated and refused to regularize homestead for the acquired ploughing field,” they assert in the official document.
All in all it is anticipated that the taskforce will help bring the contentious land issue, which has been raging for over a long period of time, to a mutually acceptable conclusion.
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.
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.
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.