Mmegi Online :: Ngami dikgosi demand preferential allocation of land to locals
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Last Updated
Wednesday 22 May 2019, 19:50 pm.
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Ngami dikgosi demand preferential allocation of land to locals

MAUN: The Ngamiland is facing challenging issues of land so much so that the dikgosi are now up in arms and want local communities to be given preferential treatment in the allocation of land.
By Boniface Keakabetse Tue 19 Sep 2017, 16:01 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Ngami dikgosi demand preferential allocation of land to locals








This came to the fore during a stakeholder meeting with dikgosi at Maun Lodge on Wednesday where dikgosi accused the Tawana Land Board  (TLB) of an agenda to dispossess communities their land. The Land Board called the meeting to inform dikgosi about rampant squatting which has risen to 984 cases in Maun, land allocation issues and an update on Molapo farming.

When presenting on illegal land occupants, Otsile Fohlani, TLB principal adjudication officer said there were 984 illegal land occupants in the Maun area. He explained that TLB evicted some of the squatters in December, adding that they have also acquired court orders to evict 177 more squatters in Shashe ward. Fohlani implored the chiefs, who he said were closer to the community, to help the Land Board fight mushrooming squatting.

Dikgosi however opined that squatting is exacerbated by delays by the Land Board to allocate land.

Kgosi Gaditshwane Mmutle of Shorobe village called on TLB to introduce a quota system of reserving a certain portion of available land to Ngamiland indigenous communities. He said such a system is in practice in areas such as Tlokweng, noting that there is a lot of interest from Batswana in applying for land in Ngamiland.

In response, TLB secretary Tlotlego Rampha explained that the quota system is not applicable in Ngamiland and is only used in specific areas in Botswana. She encouraged the traditional leadership to make a formal application to government for their area to be included amongst the areas covered by the land quota system.

The land authority officials

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found themselves in a tough position as Dikgosi demanded land for their people despite the Land Board saying there was shortage.

Oduetse Otukile, TLB Principal Registration Officer warned Ngamiland communities to adjust culturally as there is no more land allowing people to bury their dead indiscriminately as in the olden days. Otukile explained that the rampant practice of burials at ungazetted sites is no longer sustainable as “land is not elastic”. He said everyone has to bury at gazetted cemeteries. This drew condemnation from the traditional leadership.

Kgosi Manuel Nguvauva of Sehithwa explained that Ovaherero and Ovambanderu have a culture where every family designates their own burial site. He said in terms of their culture, they cannot bury at designated public burial sites.

Dikgosi were also aggrieved by TLB revelation that temporary permits that were granted to communities to sink shallow riverbed wells commonly known as ‘Kakwete’ in Ngamiland have been halted and are not being renewed after expiration. The wells are used by communities for watering livestock.

Kgosi Leretetse Mogalakwe accused government of denying Batswana a chance to utilise the river using Kakwete. He said many foreigners have boreholes along the river, asking why the government is not bothering them.

TLB also informed the Dikgosi that all farms used for flood recession farming, locally known as Molapo farming, should be established 200 metres from the river channels.

It was reiterated that such farms should not interfere with wildlife and livestock movements. TLB informed residents that Molapo farms are communal and cannot be inherited or certificated.

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