CLB appeals Pandamatenga land ruling

In or around 1984, the government of Botswana allocated an area of 25, 07ha to farmers in the Pandamatenga with an aim to boost cereal production .FILE PIC
In or around 1984, the government of Botswana allocated an area of 25, 07ha to farmers in the Pandamatenga with an aim to boost cereal production .FILE PIC

FRANCISTOWN: The Chobe Land Board (CLB) is appealing the decision of the Francistown Land Tribunal to allocate farms to 266 households in Pandamatenga.

The decision was delivered by the president of the Francistown Land Tribunal, Bannister Mokakangwe last year on October 30. The appeal was disclosed at the CLB press conference last week in Francistown. When asked about the status of the case, a CLB official said he was constrained to comment on the issue because “it was currently before the courts”. In its notice and grounds of appeal, the CLB say “the learned judge president erred in fact and law in one or more of the following respects (3.1) the Land Tribunal erred in fact and law in holding that the 266 households had a legitimate expectation that the loan agreement entered between the African Development Bank (ADB) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) on the Pandamatenga Agricultural Development Project (PADP), had cited them as direct beneficiaries of the 2, 500 hectares of farm land after the completion of the water slippage draining system training attended by the farmers in the area. The Respondent (Kgosi Rebecca Banika) held a misinformed position with respect to the said 2, 500ha as they failed to prove a prima facie case that there was such an undertaking made to the effect that an allocation would ensue.”

The CLB on (3.1.1) says the said error by the Land Tribunal indicates that the tribunal misguided itself in making a determination on the Respondent’s case. “The Land Tribunal asked, determined and answered questions, which never had a clear answer as there was no documentation that set out to state that the 2, 500ha in Mahabapi would be reserved and allocated to the 266 households and in what manner the Land Board would be allocating it in, hence the question of legitimate expectation not having been clearly answered.” The CLB also contends in (3.2) that “the tribunal erred in fact and law in holding that the Respondent was representing the 266 Pandamatenga households as there was no signed resolution that purported that Kgosi Banika was standing on behalf of the 266 households whose names would also be clearly known by the MoA as a party to the said project. The Land Tribunal merely proceeded to accept evidence led by Kgosi Banika without such an undertaking having been presented before it. The fact that the Respondent stated that she is one of the beneficiaries, had two witnesses testify and she is incumbent chief of Pandamatenga, does not mean that she necessarily represented the households, but that on the issues of allocation of land in the said farms, the Land Board is the responsible authority, hence the floating of tender CLB/04 of 2017-2018 that was later interdicted by the respondent. Lastly, the CLB on (3.4) says that “the Land Tribunal erred in law in that it failed to find in favour of the Appellant (then Respondent in the main tribunal appeal) when it was clear that the Land Board did not take into account the fact that there was no clear mandate instructing them to allocate the 2, 500ha and further that its policy mandate as enshrined in the Botswana Land Policy of 2019, Tribal Land Act Cap 32:02 and the CLB policy, did not provide for the manner of allocation that was sought after.”

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The recent Vaccination Day in Motokwe, orchestrated through collaborative efforts between UNICEF, USAID, BRCS, and the Ministry of Health, underscores a commendable stride towards fortifying child health services.The painful reality as reflected by the Ministry of Health's data regarding the decline in routine immunisation coverage since the onset of the pandemic, is a cause for concern.It underscores the urgent need to address the...

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