Isn’t There A Better Way?

The internet was abuzz last week following videos of a yellow monster demolishing one of Babo family houses at Gaphatshwa. Viewers started making assumptions without having full details of why the Land Board had resorted to bringing the yellow monster to destroy property creating a pitiful scene.

Issues of land have always been complicated, and have presented headaches for land overseers. Hence, there have to be ways the Land Boards can address issues of land disputes that will not leave citizens homeless, stranded, humiliated or stripped of their dignity.

Yes, it seems talks between the Land Board and Kootsenye Babo, the rightful owner of the land did occur. She admits that she did get compensation at some point in time. These are tough issues as once one accepts money and other terms for their land to be taken for other use, the subject becomes a very dicey one.

From the look of things it seems the owner of the land had reached an agreement with authorities, but later on, felt the government was not honouring the agreement. She appears to have continued to stay on the land with her 10 children and 33 grandchildren. Sadly, the Land Board came with yellow monster and destroyed their properties, which without a doubt were built with money they made through the sweat of brows!

It seems these issues of squatters and those whose land is identified as land that the government needs for certain projects, rarely run smoothly, which shows that perhaps the methodologies employed are not working properly.

It is not uncommon for people who have been compensated to put the money for other uses and turn around to blame the government for the state of homelessness. Then again, there is also the element of some officers who find it fine to deal with people in sneaky unethical ways!

The Babo family for example complained that they were given very little compensation, and were also promised to be allocated new plots (for the owner of the plot and her children), which they say government did not fulfil. Perhaps it’s high time that government instead of giving compensation as cash, rather build homes for individuals in their new locations.

Most areas in the country experienced moderate rains and in some parts, there was even hail big enough to injure a person without a roof over their head. As it is the Babo family is left to the mercies of such elements.

Are we really that kind of people with such a government? We are not in any way saying people should be allowed to do as they please, but let’s find ways of addressing these issues amicably and humanely!

Editor's Comment
‘A captured judiciary’

These three key factors help in maintaining public trust in the judiciary, but if they are constantly questioned then trust and faith will eventually disappear subsequently threatening the confidence in the rule of law.The judiciary in Botswana has been the talk of the town in the past with many questioning the way things are done and whether the public could still maintain trust in the system.Lately, fear that the public has been experiencing...

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