A Member of Public Accounts Committee (PAC), member of parliament Ignatius Moswaane has said the Tati Company offered a box of Tobacco in exchange for huge chunks of land that the company owns today.
He said as a result Tati Company is now like a mini state while Batswana are crying for land.
Moswaane told the PAC that the Company owns at least 200 square kilometers of land from Ditladi Village to Francistown, all of it without a title deed.
He wonders why government keeps assisting them with processing title deeds when selling out to private individuals.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Housing Bareng Malatsi could not clearly explain to the PAC but promised to investigate the issue and give appropriate feedback on the matter.
Malatsi said as government it is difficult to control the Tati land issue because the land in question was obtained during the Bechunaland Protectorate, which by then was administered by Dikgosi.
He said the land falls under freehold system and when Botswana took independence in 1966, the land was treated as private land.
He said the tati land is the same as Tuli block, Ghanzi, Barolong and Lobatse farms because they are regulated by certain specific land policies.
This did not go well with Moswaane who then told the permanent Secretary that the Company does not have a title deed and asked where do they get powers to allocate land. Moswaane said the title deed is processed by government when an individual person buys a piece plot.
Member of Parliament for Tati East and also member of the committee, Guma Moyo hinted that the owner might be in the US and the land is idling without any developments.
He asked the Permanent Secretary to do something for the benefit of Batswana and find out how the company operates without a title deed. He advised government to buy land from Tati Company before prices goes up and assist thousands of Batswana who did not have land particularly for residential.
Tati Company spokesperson Ogaisitse Khama dismissed the assertions made by the MP’s during their debate saying all land under Tati Company have title deeds. He said as a company Tati is a private company owned by Bernard Glazer Will Trust.