Thursday, April 25, 2024

Land transfers haunt Chobe Land Board

Chobe Land Board Chairperson Bwaambo Uyapo Limbo has expressed concern over the surge in land transfers particularly in Kazungula, Pandamatenga and Lesoma villages. She said they have registered a total of 400 plot transfers for different land uses for the period of 01 April 2023 to 22 March 2024. She was speaking during a press conference held at Thapama Hotel in Francistown last week Friday.

“There is a growing trend where people transfer their plots by selling them immediately after being allocated. They would then demand to be allocated other plots again by the Chobe land board which is impossible. One is only entitled to a single allocation. It is advisable to lease the plot and not sell or transfer it. The repercussion of selling your plot can haunt you for the rest of your life,” she said.

Updating the media on land transfers Limbo said 346/ 400 (86 percent) of transfers were processed within time while 54/ 400(14 percent) were processed outside time because there was no Board when they were received. She said 393/400(98 percent) have been approved while 2 percent (7/400) have been differed.

“Kazungula accounts for 80(321/400) percent of all the land transfers. Pandamatenga and Lesoma account for 8 percent (30/400) and 5 percent (22/400) respectively,” said Limbo.

She said all these three villages in Chobe East account for 93 percent of the plot transfers while 5 villages in Chobe west account for the remaining 7 percent. She said 44 percent of the transfers are from the age group of 31 -40 followed by 18-30(19 percent) and 41 – 50 at 16 percent. She said 60 percent of the transfers are by males, followed by females at 34 percent, joint ownership at 5 percent and companies at 1 percent.

Touching on land allocation Limbo said from national target of 100 000 plot allocations for the financial year 2022/ 2023 Chobe Land Board’s target was 5269 plots. They however managed to surpass the target by allocating 5465 plots (104 percent). She said Chobe Land board was among the only three Land boards including Rolong and Ghanzi to achieve their portion of the national target.

As for commercial plots. Limbo said none was allocated during this financial year. She said the last commercial plots were allocated in 2022.

“However, plans are at an advanced stage to advertise 29 plots,” she said.

She also revealed that their waiting list currently stands at 13 671. She however said they have suspended the allocation of cattle posts. She said during their meeting of August 2023 Chobe Land Board decided to suspend the application for cattle posts to take into consideration emerging issues in the implementation of this dispensation.

“This suspension seeks to enable the Board to consider and close the backlog of applications from the 609 applications received to avoid running the risk of creating a waiting list for cattle post. It also seeks to enable the Board to consult relevant stakeholders such as the Ministry of Agriculture regarding carrying capacities of the available land as viewed against the envisaged number of livestock taking into consideration the overwhelmingly huge number of applications already received,” she said.

About 24 percent of land in Chobe District is tribal land reserved for human settlement, 55 percent is National Park and Wildlife management areas while 24 percent is forest reserves.

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