Ruling party MPs tried but failed to stop a motion by Maun West MP, Tawana Moremi, on the review of land allocation policies.
The BDP members opposed Moremi’s motion arguing that he wanted to steal the limelight from the BDP, which has already tabled a policy that will address pertinent issues raised in his motion.
Some MPs argued that the purported land policy was not a solution since the legislators had rejected a similar motion, which encouraged the reservation of land for certain people who originate from a land administrative area.
The Minister of Lands and Housing, Lebonamang Mokalake, and other ruling party MPs opposed Moremi’s motion arguing that the land policy that was tabled before parliament was addressing the same issue.
However, the Parliamentary Counsel , Thebe Ramokhua, informed parliament that the motion that was brought by Moremi should be debated since it was different from the land policy, which was brought by executives.
He emphasized that the legislator’s motion was not in any way in conflict with the purported land policy, which he said is an instrument of the executives.
Tonota South MP, Pono Moathodi, also opposed his colleagues, stating that he was against those who wanted the motion to be aborted.
Moathodi argued that there was need for legislators to address issues of land since it was evident that there are irregularities that need to be addressed on land allocation.
“Politicians should never try to distance themselves from the issue of land which has lately become difficult for people to access,” said Moathodi.
He added that no one should ever tell them to abort debating the motion because there is a policy that will come before parliament.
“If land is not available for Batswana at this moment,” he said, “there is a likelihood that the future generations will not own land.”
However , Lobatse MP, Nehemiah Modubule, also argued that the purported land policy that Mokalake had tabled before parliament was going to divide the nation.
Modubule was surprised that the minister was bringing a motion on reservation of quota for indigenous residents in particular areas while parliament rejected it on the basis that it fuels tribalism.
He argued that Mokalake’s attempts to stop the debate on the motion because there is a policy was not going to resolve problems faced by Batswana.
“There is a need for a clear policy that will address the land issue in Botswana than taking shortcuts such as the reservation of a quota system for indigenous people within a certain territory,” Modubule said.
The policy comes after the South East South MP, Odirile Motlhale’s motion seeking for reservation of quotas for locals when allocating residential plots. After parliament rejected the motion, President Ian Khama went against parliament and announced at a Kgotla meeting at Bokaa a few months ago that the government will consider reserving quotas for locals in tribal administrative areas when allocating residential plots.
Moremi had brought a motion seeking a review of land allocation policies by government and Land Boards to address simmering tensions caused by current allocation policies and laws.