Councillors call for probe on land allocation
by Arnold Letsholo
The Mogoditshane-Thamaga sub district councillors last Friday unanimously adopted a motion urging the Mogoditshane Sub Land Board to audit the land in Gabane, Mogoditshane, Mmopane and Metsimotlhabe.
Tabling the motion, Botswana Congress Party (BCP) councillor for Gabane North East, Ofentse Mareme, said the sub land board should, through an audit, investigate the 1993 residential plot allocation waiting list.
Mareme said though the sub land board claims to be still probing the allocation of plots, it remains unclear how many plots have been issued so far.
“The procedure of allocating land in these areas is questionable. Since 1996, some people have wanted to lease their ploughing fields and the Land Board has denied them that right,” Mareme said.
However, the same land authority grants some people in the same area the right to lease their fields while promising field owners that it would allocate residential plots to farmers’ children as part of the compensation package.
“Some people have been waiting for such allocation since 2001 and nothing has been forthcoming,” Mareme said.
Another burning issue, Mareme added, is the allocation of open spaces in these planning areas. Contrary to ideal practice, this is not being advertised.
“For instance, we hear the plot opposite Mogoditshane Barclays Bank branch (Choppies mall) now belongs to the Manager of Choppies but we have never seen the plot’s advert,” Mareme said. “It also puzzles why some plots are left without allocation on surveyed areas while the land board is claiming that there is a land shortage. For example, there are unallocated plots in surveyed areas like Gabane Block one and Block two. And Mmopane Block one and Mogoditshane Block eight.”
He felt the audit would reveal how much was spent in surveying Gabane Block 2. In this area some plots were allocated dangerously close to a pipeline that would put lives at risk should the pipeline burst.
Among other things, Mareme questioned whether the extension of Gaborone into Kweneng District was done procedurally. Specifically, he was referring to the recent relocation of residents of Kgaphamadi, an area in Kweneng South East, to pave way for the expansion of Gaborone.
Mareme also expressed concern at the rate at high ranking Land Board officials were transferred. This, he said, caused a lot of confusion because the Land Board clientele have to keep starting from scratch as new office bearers claim ignorance of what their predecessors had done.