Sunday, October 25, 2020

Kazungula Re-Development Plan facing challenges

Chobe Land Board Chairperson, Nelson Masule says they are currently facing a number of challenges in undertaking the Kazungula Re-Development Plan. The idea behind this project is to give Kazungula – which is a tourist destination, a face-lift by relocating some of the plots and properties in the area.
Addressing a press conference in Francistown last week Masule said the assessment of properties that will be affected by this project was completed this year in April for commercial, Industrial and residential plots and it attracted a total amount of about P55 million which should be compensated to the affected land and property owners. He however expressed worry that the land board’s existing budget will not be enough to cover expenses for compensation and engagement of project consultants.
“The other challenges we have in that respect is that there is resistance from affected property holders. There is also delay in compensating affected property holders due to the fact that properties which have long been assessed for more than six months might attract 6 percent interest on their compensation amount,” he said.
He also said that one of their challenges is that the 50 meters buffer zone from the Chobe River affects some of the tourism activities especially lodges which are fully developed and operational. He emphasized that there is no alternative for relocation in that regard.
On a positive note, he said through the Economic Stimulus Package (ESP), they are currently developing guidelines for implementation of the Kasane ÔÇô Kazungula Development Plan. He also said that they are servicing Nyungwe area for relocations from Old Kazungula, part of Kgaphamadi location and Newtown location.
“The contract with project consultant was signed on the 28 of January 2016. The consultant is yet to secure a contractor as the layout for all areas earmarked for relocations have not yet been approved. This project will cost P129 000 000,” he added.
He also said that under the ESP programme, there is minimal land servicing which will include access roads, sewer lines and water reticulation at Kazungula, Lesoma and Kachikau. He revealed that 3 376 plots will have minimal services such as opening of access roads, water reticulation and provision of streets lights.
On revenue collection, he said Chobe Land Board has allocated around 2 000 commercial and industrial plots throughout the district and it has managed to collect P2 055 458.85 out of P2 287 880.00. He said they are currently at 89 percent level of revenue collection for 2015/ 2016 financial year.
“P244 905.32 has been collected as at 02 June 2016 for the first quarter of 2016/ 2017. The challenges we face is failure by lease debtors to honor obligations to pay lease rentals and arrears. The other problem is of undeveloped commercial and industrial plots,” he added.
Masule however said that they have interventions in place. He said verification of commercial plots ownership has started for the whole district and as of now, Pandamatenga has been completed. He also said there is an update of records through the National Land Registration project. 
In its endeavor to fight corruption he said Chobe Land Board has a fully functional Corruption Prevention Committee (CPC). He said the committee has eleven members drawn from the different departments and units and continues to engage in corruption prevention activities and processes.
“The Corruption Prevention Plan for financial year 2016/2017 is in the implementation process. Chobe Land Board maintains a Corruption Prevention Corner populated by material from Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime and the Ministry’s Anti- Corruption Unit and other Land Boards. We also have anonymous reporting boxes at the Customer Service Centre and Corruption Corner,” he said.

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