BCP to march for land

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FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Congress Party (BCP) faithful will hold a demonstration here on Saturday to sensitise the public about equitable land distribution in the country. The BCP organising secretary, Vain Mamela said yesterday that the march will begin at Super Spar Mall and end at Chedu Choga Grounds.

"We will hold a rally after the march at Chedu Choga where we will continue sensitising people about equitable land distribution in the country," he said.All members of the BCP central committee, led by party president, Dumelang Saleshando, are expected to take part in the march. "We were also supposed to hand in a petition detailing the party's displeasure about the non-equitable land distribution in the country to the District Commissioner (DC) here, but she has indicated that she won't be in on Saturday. We have however arranged to give her the petition at a later date," Mamela told Mmegi yesterday.

The BCP holds the view that land is not equitably distributed in the country and this is a recipe for national strife.Francistown DC, Cordelliah Mpate said yesterday that they are aware that the BCP wanted to hand in a petition to her office but it will not be possible to receive it as she and her officers will be engaged elsewhere. "We have however arranged that the petition be handed in at a later date," she said. Nearly two months ago, Saleshando presented a motion in Parliament that demanded a land audit. He argued that sparsely populated Botswana should have enough land for its people given that it is roughly the size of France, which has over 65 million people. He said the informal or 'black market' for land in Botswana should be a matter of great concern.He said young people and the poor are unable to secure land as it is traded at exorbitant prices in the informal market. When the poor and youth secure such land, they are unable to access the means to develop it. He said that Botswana has large quantities of land that is being held for speculative purposes. He said Gaborone and Francistown have prime land that has been held by absentee landlords since the colonial era. "In the North West, lucrative land along the Okavango Delta and the Chobe seems to be the monopoly of foreigners. This land continues to be traded at exorbitantly high prices," he complained.

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