Sunday, March 7, 2021

Ngwato landboard members resign under a cloud

Ngwato Land Board has been hit by a spate of resignations.

The resignations come at the time when the board was vetting applications for ranches. 

Although it is not yet clear what might have prompted their resignation, suspicions are rife that they felt conflicted during the short listing process. 

It is understood that the board members tendered their resignations during the process of short listing applicants who will be awarded about thirty six ranches that were advertised sometime in May this year.

Soon after their resignations the board members then wrote to the minister of Lands and Housing Prince Maele requesting him to appoint some new board members or an independent board that will assist in the short listing of candidates that will also bring confidence to the public.

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC)  has been roped in to investigate the circumstances that  might have led the said members to resign as well as whether the vetting process is being done fairly.  

It is further alleged that most of the people that were awarded ranches by the same land board in 2010 have failed to develop the ranches.

Ngwato Land Board spokesperson Shirley Tsheko said “it is unfortunate that I will not respond to your question until the process has been completed.” 

She said that the process of vetting candidates will probably be completed by  month end.

“By that time the board will be able to respond to any queries,” she said.

Committee member of Botswana Young Farmers Association Duncan Ramooki wondered why after so long the Ngwato land Board has not announced the successful candidates. He called the whole exercise a “joke”.

“Why has it taken so long to make a pronouncement and nothing is being communicated to the public,” he said. 

He revealed that about 20 registered young farmers have tendered their applications but they could be more as some young farmers have not registered with their association.

Efforts to solicit comment from DCEC were futile.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper