Vice President of the Botswana National Front (BNF), Olebile Gaborone has warned government that unfair distribution of land in the country will result in irreversible political instability.
He urged government to come up with a one-person-one-residential-plot policy as a matter of urgency, to avoid situations where some individuals own up to 700 plots, while thousands wait for years before they can be allocated land. The MP said that government is reluctant to formulate the policy because those in power do not care as they benefit from the status quo.
Gaborone was debating the draft National Development Plan 10 for Ministry of Lands and Housing on Monday afternoon in Parliament. It was not the first time Gaborone has warned that unfair land allocation will cause political instability in the country. He stated that some rich people own large chunks of land around Gaborone, but they are always consulted on proposed developments that may spill into their land with the option to refuse or give up the land for huge monetary compensation. He added that at the same time, the government is busy taking away the land that belongs to common people for little or no compensation at all.
He said that Minister of Lands and Housing, Nonofo Molefhi recently refused to tour Tlokweng to discuss with residents the taking over of their ploughing fields by the ministry. He reiterated that rich farm owners are consulted and paid handsomely while other Batswana have their land taken away with little or no compensation at all. "One day you are going to pay for that," he warned. He said that government should stop applying double standards and acquire privately owned farms to settle people.
He turned his frustration on the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) for poor service delivery. He said that the supply of electricity is constantly disrupted because of faulty lines. The Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) did not
Gaborone Central MP, Dumelang Saleshando lamented the poor state of roads in Botswana. He said that the roads are always in a bad state immediately after construction. He accused the government of favouring expatriates at the expense of Batswana in banning streetlight advertising. "This thing is done all over the world and it is only in Botswana where it is not allowed," he said. He added that multinational companies are given leeway in the advertising industry because they bring in huge structures, which many Batswana companies cannot afford.
Turning to Air Botswana, Saleshando said that the management consultancy that government wants to engage for the national career is a waste of money and a sign of a nation suffering from inferiority complex. He said there are many young Batswana with qualifications and experience in corporate management who can turn the airline around and make it profitable.
Outspoken MP for Mahalapye East, Botlogile Tshireletso expressed disappointment at the manner in which the Ministry of Lands was doing things. She said that a recent announcement that secretaries in Sub-Land Boards should be degree holders will take away jobs from locals. Se said that the advertisements for suitable local candidates attracted less than five people for 40 positions. "This means that you are once again going to give these positions to foreigners," he lamented. She said that government should have trained locals holding positions of Sub-Land Board secretaries before restructuring the boards.