Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tati Company, FCC reach a stalemate over land access

FRANCISTOWN – As the land saga continues to simmer between Francistown City Council (FCC) and Tati Company (TC) Limited, FCC has since turned down a proposal by the company to give it an alternative access to its land named Farm NQ1 as part of resolving the impasse. FCC is currently at logger heads with TC for refusing it access to the land (farm) it bought from the company. At some point FCC threatened the company with legal action.

Updating the councillors on the long standing issue during the first leg of the Full Council meeting on Monday morning, Francistown Mayoress Sylvia Muzila revealed that Tati Company is proposing that they access the said farm by the quarry road that connects A1 road opposite Tati Siding village, 15 km from Francistown. She made it clear that they do not accede to the proposal.

“Those of you who have been to that farm, may have noted the entrance to the farm is on the eastern side of the farm, being closer to the Mambo Treatment Plant as there are laid down pipes connecting it to the treatment. This is reason enough not to accept Tati Company’s proposal which would be costly to us and calling for a budget to create the servitude. I had hoped that this matter would be settled amicably but it seems we are not able to reach a consensus,” said Muzila

Tati Company a controversial company that is registered in the United Kingdom (UK) and owned by the Glazier family as a Trust is believed to own huge portions of land in Francistown and the North East District. The company deals with managing and selling of real estate.

Most of the people in Francistown and North East have no land for residential, businesses and even for agricultural purposes. The local authorities in Francistown have always threatened to mobilize the community to grab the land by force from the company. They accuse the company of land theft.

However during an exclusive interview with the The Telegraph last month, the General Manager of TC Ogaisitse Khama rubbished the claim from the city authorities that Tati Company owns most of the land in Francistown and North East District. He said TC has since surrendered all the land to government at no cost to benefit Batswana. He emphasized that 350 000 hactres of land was given back to government. He said TC currently holds a title to the “little land it owns”

Khama said the company merely retained four farms measuring 22 000 hactres that it was utilizing being Bisoli, Sikukwe, Lady Mary and Sam Estates. He said some of the farms are used for cattle ranching. He also explained that 95 percent of the North East District including all the undeveloped land in Francistown came to be owned by government and third parties and not Tati Company.

Among other issues that are be-devilling Francistown Muzila lamented on the ever depreciating economic state of the second city since the closure of mines in its surrounding and Botswana Meat Commission (BMC). She said this has led to high unemployment and poverty in the city. She implored the councilors to think out of the box and come with innovative ways to resuscitate its economy as they cannot entirely depend on government.

“I want to implore you in your committees to come up with innovative ways in which we can sustainably develop our people with the little resources at our disposal. We cannot afford to sit and wait for the government to give us resources while we can strategically provide for ourselves,” she said.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.