The federation says the ongoing Land Administration Procedures, Capacity and Systems exercise (LAPCAS) is not a land audit, rather a registration mechanism to inform the land ministry on land ownership. The umbrella union's call for the audit comes shortly after parliament rejected the Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central's motion that called for a national land audit.
The general secretary of the federation, Tobokani Rari told the press at a media briefing yesterday that addressed current national issues including land, education and corruption among others. He said the land issue is one that has been unresolved for quite some time and needed urgent attention to avoid instances like in neighbouring states where land was forcefully taken from people. Calling it an issue that needed care, Rari said government should negotiate with those that own multiple stakes of land and absent landlords.
"The land audit should be conducted and inform land redistribution after government has negotiated with the involved individuals," Rari said.Still on the land issue, Goretetse Kekgonegile said the direction that the issue has taken has the potential to ignite a civil war if not addressed.
Asked when the federation wants the audit completed, he said, "within a year government should have done that, by end of April next year." He said the ongoing land battle in Tlokweng and the youth pressure group testifies that the land issue is overdue. BOFEPUSU pledged to support the advocacy groups through staging demonstrations in order to enforce action in the relevant camp. Kekgonegile also said the ongoing LAPCAS is not a land audit, rather a land registration exercise. This is contrary to what the land minister, Lebonaamang Mokalake told parliament last week.
He stated that LAPCAS, which has gobbled P36 million, with plans to spend another P74 million in the coming financial year, captures all that is required by Saleshando, adding that it would be wasteful running a parallel audit, with the shortage of resources and manpower.In response to the debates, Saleshando said his problem with LAPCAS is that it is more like a stock-taking system, with no corrective measures.
"LAPCAS is not going to give you anything you don't know. How did we end up with this problem, and how are we going to get out of it? That's what an audit is for," he said. The motion that sought an audit to establish ownership, values, tenure and synergy between planned and actual use of land in urban and peri-urban areas, freehold farms and tourism frontiers was defeated 29-13 in a vote on Friday.