Thursday, August 6, 2020

Khama to overturn parliament decision

President Lt Gen Ian Khama is expected to overturn last week’s decision by Parliament, which rejected a motion calling on government to reserve a quota for locals of any land administrative when allocating residential plots.

A week after Members of Parliament threw out the motion by Ramotswa MP Odirile Motlhala arguing that it would fuel tribalism, President Khama told a Kgotla meeting in Bokaa that government will consider reserving land for locals in their tribal areas.

Khama, who spoke in support of reserving land for locals, told Bokaa residents that since many people were migrating to Gaborone, there is need to reserve land for locals in some tribal areas close to the capital city.

Khama was responding to complaints from Bokaa residents who said they could not access residential plots because all land had been taken up.

He said although everyone was free to reside anywhere in Botswana it was not favourable to people who reside in areas that are close to Gaborone.

MP Motlhale, who had proposed the motion, had argued that there have been instances where people who belong to certain land administrative places are not allocated land while outsiders are allocated land. He said that had brought tension and was stoking tribalism in some areas.

“We have instance where people grow older in those areas without being allocated plots because they are crowded by outsiders,” said Motlhale.

However, Kweneng East, MP, Mmoloki Raletobana had also argued that the move will not bring tribalism, stating that tribalism was being encouraged by the government’s decision to name the Land Boards in Botswana after the eight Tswana speaking tribes.

He said that if legislators felt that the move to reserve a quota for locals of any land administrative will bring tribalism then parliament should abolish calling Land Boards by certain tribes because it also encourages tribalism.

Gaborone West South MP, Botsalo Ntuane, had opposed Motlhale vehemently, arguing that the motion would open a Pandora’s Box. Ntuane stated that land was a natural resource like other resources such as diamonds. The legislator feared that other people would also propose that they be reserved the resources that are within their areas.

Motlhale’s motion was rejected after legislators voted against it.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

Sunday Standard August 2 – 8

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 2 - 8, 2020.