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Kgosi Masunga, Minister Maele square up in land debate

Furious Kgosi Maruje wants land audit

The Minister of Land and Housing, Prince Maele and Kgosi Thabo Maruje II of Masunga recently squared up in Ntlo Ya Dikgosi over the issue of sale of land to foreigners by Batswana.

Minister Maele is convinced that the recently introduced land policy patches up all the loopholes that could ensure that Batswana have land rights. On the other hand Kgosi Maruje is of the view that Batswana are losing land to rich foreigners who have their pockets lined with millions of Pula.

Responding to a motion tabled by Kgosi Mmirwa Malema of Bobirwa on, ‘the introduction of quota policies that limit buying of plots per person,’ Maele opined that Batswana who own land have the right to sell their land. He justified his point by demonstrating that a Motswana who owns shares in the Stock market, or a Motswana who owns cattle are allowed to enhance their economic standing by selling what they have, “why should we discriminate against those who own land?” The Minister said the move could infringe on the constitutional rights of those who own land.  

He said the Land Polciy addresses pertinent issues because it bars the sale of undeveloped land; it also stops one from selling their last residential land, among other things. According to the Minister, the Land Policy also protects those who were allocated land under special dispensation such as those of Sesarwa descent, because they cannot sell their land until after 15 years.

Commenting directly on the motion, Maele said that he couldn’t figure out “what mischief the Kgosi Mmirwa Malema motion is trying to address.” He said that “the motion will be in conflict with the constitution” going on to denounce the move saying that such development risks being a lengthy process which will warrant a constitutional reform. Maele said that he could not be persuaded by Kgosi Masunga’s argument saying introduction of policies limiting buying of plots per person would impinge on the constitutionally conferred rights of citizens.

Maele also said that such a move will mean that the government will also be legitimised to regulate the personal investments of nationals such as in the equity market as well as livestock.

Kgosi Maruje had called for a constitutional overhaul to curb a scourge where only a select few of the rich appropriate tracts of tribal land from disadvantaged citizens condemned to the bread line.

Speaking at the House of Chiefs on Tuesday, shoring up a motion tabled by Kgosi Mmirwa Malema of Bobirwa , Maruje said it was time Minister of Lands and Housing got another perspective on the land question.

Maruje said that Botswana has to amend its constitution to provide for the land quota system as it is a national fundamental basis, to make it compatible with the modern environment as the subsequent government Acts and policies all draw root from it.

He said, “Batswana are losing their fundamental basis where we extract our minerals and socialise as a people at blinding speed.”

In his assessment it is even more saddening is that it is near impossible to gauge the scale of the phenomenon since statistics on the subject matter are hard to come by.

The emotive Kgosi Maruje proclaimed how he detests the current state of affairs, before continuing painting a melancholic land picture saying he struggled to find sleep after analysing the Lesetedi Commission report which shows that Batswana are trailing on a miserable retrogressive trance where only aristocrats and foreign nationals individually have hundreds of plots to their names, dispossessed from impoverished Batswana.

“Batswana are literally killing themselves; Batswana have become their own worst enemies.” The youthful Kgosi lamented, saying the craze of land speculation will come back to haunt Batswana as real estate should be leveraged for self-empowerment and unlocking opportunities.

Masunga said the consumerism patterns of the capitalist system as shown in the Lesetedi Commission report baffled him as Batswana are on a virulent drive of land speculation albeit for feeble reasons, some doing it only to hold cash in their hands.

Kgosi Maruje said the clash of the grinding consumerism patterns with the capitalist system results in those with the means controlling the processes and abusing loopholes where people erect structures on plots predetermined for the market, an eyehole into the inside of the naked system he said should be closed.

He further said that the current laws do not address the security situation of the nation and that deliberate and unique policies that work for the country must be instituted, lest it become overrun by foreign nationals, chiding that people do not normally rumble when limitations are inserted in security issues as he believes the first allocation of land to citizens must not be sold or even repossessed.

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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

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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