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Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board Officers Under Probe

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
Lelotong lands one of the ploughing fields that were surrendered PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
An audit report into the Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board dealings has exposed flagrant disregard for land procedures.

Particularly, it raises red flags on the acquisition of ploughing fields, sub-division of fields and compensation thereof, as well as transfer of residential plots that were offered as compensation.

According to the principal public relations officer, Ministry of Land Management Water and Sanitation Services Alice Mmolawa the audit, completed in March, was followed by a detailed investigation whose report they are currently studying.

Mmolawa said the audit noted possible irregularities at Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board pertaining to the implementation of the compensation in-kind guidelines.

It noted that land administration processes and procedures were not followed when dealing with some issues of land acquisition, subdivision of plots and compensation in-kind of plots under investigation.

“The audit that was instituted by Kweneng Land Board was completed in March. The permanent secretary then appointed an investigation team to carry out a detailed investigation into the audit report.

The investigation team completed its assignment on August 14, 2020. The investigation was delayed by two months because of the April-May lockdown.

The Ministry is currently analysing the report and should it be determined that there were acts of misconduct on the part of any of the officers being investigated, disciplinary proceedings would be instituted,” Mmolawa said.

Mmolawa added they were aware that some Batswana were selling/buying the undeveloped plots, which were offered to plot-holders whose fields were acquired, as part of compensation in-kind. However, she

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said it should be noted that the plots in question were not yet developed and the law does not allow transfer of undeveloped land without the consent of the Land Board.

“Plot-holders whose fields were acquired by Kweneng Land Board (Main Land Board) were accorded special dispensation to collect their certificates for the residential plots that were allocated to them as compensation for their acquired fields.

This was because the transactions were sanctioned by the Kweneng Land Board and hence had no issues.

However, the aforementioned plot holders cannot transfer their plots without the consent of the Land Board as per section 38 of the Tribal Land Act,” she said.

Mmolawa further shared that the suspension from work of officers who are based at other Land Boards and Sub-Land Boards other than Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board was lifted effective from September 1, 2020.

However, she said the lifting of the suspension does not in any way absolve them from any wrongdoing that may be picked from the investigation report. 

The Compensation In-Kind Policy was introduced early last year as a way to encourage people to give out their ploughing fields and get residential plots. Initially, one would get six plots for each hectare.

The number was, however, later reduced to two plots. It was after several complaints by residents that the policy was halted and an audit instituted.



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