The appeal case in which some Batlokwa tribesmen challenged the decision of the Tlokweng Land Board to physically allocate 285 plots through a raffle, ended cheerfully for the 17 appellants this week at the Land Tribunal offices in Gaborone.
Although the matter was settled out of court, a binding agreement – court order – was drafted by both parties during what was supposed to be a court case at Land Tribunal offices.
The appellants and the Tlokweng Land Board met and agreed to settle the matter between themselves.
In their settlement agreement, in the form of a court order, it ruled in the tribesmen’s favour – thus compelling the Tlokweng Land Board to process their applications straight away.
“The appellants shall apply to the land board for allocation of residential tribal land at the next set of allocations for tribal land undertaken by the land board,” reads the agreement in part.
It was further agreed that, “the Appellants’ individual applications shall be considered in terms of the Tribal Land Act Cap 32:02 and the prevailing policy of the First Respondent at the time of acceptance of applications. Appellants that qualify shall be allocated a residential plot by the First Respondent.”
In the matter Thatayaone Matlapeng and 16 others, who were the appellants, had sued the Tlokweng Land Board (cited as first respondents), challenging their decision to allocate the 285 plots in the area. The matter was registered at the Land tribunal court under case no. 094/2014. The second and third respondents were the South East District Council and Attorney General respectively.
Attorney Kabelo Nkwe acted for the appellants while Tshiamo Motsumi represented the Tlokweng Land Board. The South East District Council was represented by Busang Leburu. Yarona Sharp stood in for the Attorney General.
This publication understands that the Batlokwa land brawl case can be traced to 2009 when the appellants were interviewed for land allocation. However, the first raffle was conducted in 2011 amid controversy.
The next raffle in 2012 caused even more controversy and friction between the Land Board and residents, forcing the aggrieved tribesmen to seek the Land Tribunal’s intervention despite initial uncertainties about its jurisdiction. The Tribunal finally were to meet this week and an out of court settlement ruled in favour of the appellants.
Despite having settled the matter out of court, it was initially referred to the Land Tribunal as it was established to hear and determine appeals’ emanating from decisions of the land boards in Botswana on issues of tribal land such as was the case with controversial Tlokweng land.
Although the matter was won by the 17 appellants in the disputed 285 plots, this means 268 who were part of the raffle were left out in the lurch.
The Land Tribunal was established by an order under Section 40 of the Tribal Land Act in September 1995 and it officially commenced operation in October 1997. It started operating in Gaborone in April 2005 and later spread to Palapye.
As its vision, the land tribunal prides itself in promoting fair adjudication of tribal land disputes and appeals as it did with regard to those that pursued the Tlokweng 285 plots dispute.
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.