President Ian Khama has warned residents of Shashe Bridge village in the North East District to desist from selling their plots to non-residents because this would culminate in shortage of land for their children and future generations.
Addressing a kgotla meeting in the village last Thursday, Khama raised his concerns over the disturbing trend by Batswana to sell plots that they have been allocated.
“We are aware that some Batswana have a tendency of acquiring plots in their villages only to sell them to outsiders. At least when you consider selling, give preference to locals instead of outsiders. You need to save land for future generations,” he said.
President Khama was responding to Tati Land Board chairman Kgotlaetsho Morakanyane’s concern over the habit by residents of villages surrounding Francistown such as Tati Siding, Shashe Bridge and Matshelagabedi to sell their plots instead of developing them.
Morakanyane had indicated that there was a high demand for plots in areas in the vicinity of Francistown City.
“One of the major concerns is that villagers countrywide are complaining that outsiders or foreigners are acquiring most of the land in their villages while their children do not have anything. Every Motswana has the right to apply for land everywhere in the country but I have decided to advice different Land Boards to give first preference to locals when assessing land applications. At least 40% of the applications should be awarded to locals of those villages when applying for plots,” continued Khama.
On a different note, Khama commended Shashe Bridge residents for taking the education of their children seriously as their primary school has been performing well in the past five years. He said that it is very important for parents to collaborate with teachers to help their children excel academically.
“I am informed that your primary school has been performing very well in the past five years and I need to commend the parents and the teachers of this village for taking the education of children seriously. Education should not be the responsibility of government alone, but everyone,” he said.
However, the residents further expressed concern over shortage of water in the village.
“Our village is a stone throw away from Shashe dam and we still fail to understand why the government is failing to provide water for all of us in the village,” said one concerned resident Freedom Alton.
In response, the Minister of Water, Minerals and Energy Resources, Kitso Mokaila who was part of President Khama’s entourage said he is aware of the water problems faced by the people in Shashe Bridge village, adding that the government has taken heed of their problem and will duly assist them.
“It is only that the government is currently facing shortage of funds, but we will address your problem as soon as possible. We are also going to put in place water tanks in some of the areas to address the water shortage problems,” said the minister.