The Monitor :: Happiness Reigns For Tsolamosese ‘Squatters’
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Last Updated
Thursday 22 February 2018, 17:30 pm.
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Happiness Reigns For Tsolamosese ‘Squatters’

After decades of misery living under the threat of eviction from their uncertified location, Tsolamosese squatters can finally now breath a sigh of relief.
By Pini Bothoko Mon 05 Feb 2018, 12:07 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Happiness Reigns For Tsolamosese ‘Squatters’








Happiness ruled as the squatters were finally made not only residents but also owners of the residential plots they occupy after Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board recently gave them certificates for their land.

At first the residents of the popular location in Tsolamosese ‘Ko Diterateng’ were spared from eviction after it was discovered that they were squatters for decades and had nowhere else to go.

President Ian Khama pardoned them in 2009 after taking up office and a lenient Mogoditshane Land Board fined them monies for allocating themselves land illegally.  The squatters were fined different amounts ranging from P5,000 to P10,000. For years the residents have been living a miserable life on the unserviced land, having to do without water and electricity and walking long distance to fetch water. Upon arrival at Tsolamosese the squatters could be spotted easily as they lived in an area without resources.

However, last November residents received certificates of their residential plots after waiting patiently for years after paying their fines.  At ‘Ko Diterateng’ The Monitor team found most yards had installed electricity and water pipes with some being constructed.

Christianah Morima, 49, a resident and vendor who once bemoaned her state of affairs early last year at a kgotla meeting in Mogoditshane, had pleaded with Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board to give them land ownership certificates of their plots.  She is happy that she is finally living a normal life like other people after struggling for years.

“I was given the certificate of ownership in November and already I have installed electricity in my house and my children watch television and spend most of their time at home.  I have applied for water connection and I am awaiting installation.  I am so happy that I finally own a plot and I can develop it,” Morima said.

The mother of seven, two males and five females, said she was fined P5,500 and has been waiting for the certificate of ownership since 2015 after she finished paying the fine in 2002.  She told The Monitor she has resided in the location since 1991 with her late husband hence she is happy that she finally owns a residential plot.

“It’s been decades of struggle, but I am happy that finally things paid off. I have a legal

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residential plot.  I thank the Almighty God and President Khama for his mercy on us and pardoning us for squatting,” Morima said.

Sharing the same sentiments as Morima, Mooketsi Madutele of Mochudi, 62, expressed how of happy he was. He settled in the location in 1987 and praised the President Khama for the good gesture.

“I settled here when this area was a farm. I grew up here and had nowhere else to go if I had been evicted. Now I am finally holding the certificate of ownership and I am so overwhelmed with happiness,” he said.

Madutele, who was fined P7,000, is however worried that the Sub-Land Board delayed when it took years to give him the document as he is now old and does not have the energy to develop his plot.

“I am so happy. Finally I have dignity, as I own this plot legally even though I am old and no longer have the energy to work and develop it like I had wished to. I am currently raising money to install and connect water and electricity,” Madutele said.

The father of five, two males and three females, was happy that he would be leaving his children a place to call home. Unlike other residents, Mosadiko Inose, 58, is still waiting for her certificate of ownership, as her land occupation issue is not yet settled.

“At first the Land Board wanted to evict me because they are confused and are in doubt that I own this plot. I have been staying here for years with my late partner. After the President pardoned us, I was fined and my late partner was paying on my behalf.  

But since his name reflects on their receipts, they claim that it shows that he is the owner of the plot and not me. I tried to narrate the story, but they are still adamant and holding on to my certificate,” Inose said.

Inose said that struggling without services like her neighbours is something that has affected her dignity. “My children are struggling, as they walk long distances to fetch water. 

Pushing a wheelbarrow in this era, especially in Mogoditshane, which is almost part of the city of Gaborone, is a disgrace to my children,” she said.

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