Botswana Congress Party’s shadow cabinet Lands Minister; Isaac Mabiletsa has said that should his party win the 2014 general elections it is going to ensure it slashes down the backlog of land allocations.┬á
Addressing a political rally in Kopong, marking the launch of the party’s parliamentary candidate, Phagenyana Phage and his council candidates on Saturday, Mabiletsa assured electorates that the backlog is going to be reduced from the current 30 years waiting list to one year.
He said the backlog is the product of underutilization of funds by the government. According to the governments accounts statement, he said, parliament approved P179 billion for developments in the financial year 2009. While residential plots were not serviced that same financial year.
“I asked the Finance people if they did not compile monthly accounts and they said they did. I asked them if they did not know departments that underutilized funds such that they advised them and they said they knew the departments but did not say anything to them. The problem with the BDP government is that when the country is broke due to recession, it utilizes funds for security infrastructure instead of developmental infrastructure,” he said.
In presenting Phage as ‘a candidate of choice’, Mabiletsa said Phage has proven his sterling political representation in his current post where he is councillor for Mmopane ward, in the same constituency. He has proven to be both courageous and has had perseverance when he dealt with the problem of land in the Kgaphamadi settlement, where Gaborone expansion forced subsistence farmers there to leave their farming land for 20 years.
“He fought with the government until it hiked the original meagre compensation it gave to the poor farmers from a paltry P1500 per hector to P8500 per hector, even though it is still nothing as compared to sales done in freehold areas like Phakalane and Ruretse farms owned by the Magangs and Khamas.”
Before his speech, Lotty Manyapedza had mobilized the rally not to vote the ruling BDP as it has ignored the constituency for the past 47 years.
Kopong, he said, produces poor results because the village depends on Gaborone and Mogoditshane for everything- from senior secondary education to library to shopping.
“Even the Chinese do not have interest in doing business here because of poor infrastructure. You depend on Mogoditshane for even mortuary. I was moved recently when I found that people here, preparing for a funeral had to run from public stand pipe to another in search for water.”
Launching Phage, BCP General Secretary, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang said while Phage had desirable profile to lead, Minister Seretse’s was a disaster. He was not a politician but nominated into parliament, developed a craving for power over years and accepted representing constituents who did not know him.
“He was the first candidate for the constituency who is also undergoing trial. He was the first minister to get promoted while going through trial. He is the first minister to act on behalf of someone who is acting. And finally he is the first Minister of Sports to fail to air world cup on television. He does not deserve your votes,” said Gobotswang.