FRANCISTOWN: President Mokgweetsi Masisi has pledged to resolve land challenges faced by Francistown residents and those from surrounding areas.
Masisi made the promise over the weekend when launching Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidate for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaane in Francistown.
For years, Francistown and surrounding villages have been faced with acute shortage of land. Residents in those areas believe that the shortage of land emanates from the fact that Tati Company (TC) mostly owns the land.
The company, which is registered in the United Kingdom, reportedly owns more than 40% of land in northeastern Botswana.
“Your challenge of land in this area is my challenge. I promise that the BDP government will fight for you to get more land. You deserve to get more land. We will definitely ensure that you get more land when voted back into power,” Masisi said.
There are those who hold the view that the land owned by TC should be expropriated and allocated to Batswana who are in need of land for various activities. Most of the land owned by the company remains undeveloped and is held under freehold tenure.
In August 2003, the opposition Botswana National Front (BNF) tabled a motion in Parliament calling on the government to expropriate all idle and unutilised land held by the company and other absentee landlords.
Parliament rejected the motion, saying this would contradict the principles of Botswana’s liberal democracy.
Masisi also said that the current BDP is committed to ensuring that minority languages are embraced.
“The BDP of 2019 is committed to ensuring that the minority languages are embraced as medium of instruction,” he said.
The ruling party has often shunned the idea of allowing the use of minority languages in official platforms in the country among them schools.