Wednesday, April 21, 2021

A minister appears before the President to explain his land acquisition

President Ian Khama has summoned his Land and Housing minister, Nonofo Molefhi, to inquire into allegations that he may have possibly influenced the Kweneng Land Board to award him two plots in Mogoditshane.

Minister Molefhi confirmed meeting President Khama over the issue.

In an interview with the Sunday Standard Molefhi said he had been called by the President to clarify the issue following reports that seem to suggest impropriety around the circumstances under which the plots were awarded.

“He called me to his office to enquire about the issue and I adequately explained the issue,” said Molefhi.

The issue surrounding the circumstances under which the plots were awarded emerged earlier this year after Molefhi returned the plots to the Kweneng District Council.

There was also speculation that the plots were returned because there are no traces of minutes that approved the award of the two plots.

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is understood to be investigating the issue.

However, the minister has dismissed that there was anything dubious about his application and plots allocation.

According to Molefhi, in early 2000, the Land Board advertised some plots.

“I applied representing ABM College and subsequent to that application I was invited for an interview at the Land Board,” he said.

He said following the interview, his application was deferred because the Land Board could not meet the requirements for his application.

“Some time last year, I received a letter of offer from the Kweneng Land Board offering me two plots…which were more than 100 metres apart,” he said, adding that the Land Board had awarded the two plots with the view that the plots could serve the same purpose.

Molefhi, a shareholder at ABM College, said that he declined the offer because developing two plots that were apart could prove to be difficult and expensive.
ABM College is run by the mister’s wife.

He said that when he made the application the purpose was to build a college.

“I have no idea; that can be verified by the Kweneng Land Board,” stated Molefhi when responding to reports that the minutes on the award of the two plots are not available.

The minister also indicated that he is not aware of a DCEC probe against him.

Contacted for comment, Kweneng Land Board secretary, Molebedi Khuduego, denied that the minutes on the said allocations had gone missing.

“From our records he applied in 2001 for civic, community and Industrial plot and was approved,” he stated.

He said that from information in their possession, Molefhi was given a plot number in 2009.

He said that he is not aware if the DCEC is doing a probe on the issue.
“He was given one plot but, physically, it’s for the same purpose.”

He further said that he could not confirm whether or not Molefhi had returned the plots.

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