Botswana: Investigations Expose Land Overseer Hand | Land Portal
Author(s): 
Esther Mmolai
Language of the news reported: 
English

Maun — Investigations to establish the root cause of squatting in Maun have revealed that some land overseers were at the forefront of the problem, Kgosi Oleyo Ledimo has said.

Presenting on the role of bogosi in land administration during the ongoing orientation workshop for new land board members, Kgosi Ledimo expressed disappointment that some land overseers encouraged squatting.

The investigations were undertaken by tribal leaders following concerns expressed by Tawana Land Board about squatting last year.

Kgosi Ledimo apologised for the unfortunate acts explaining that bogosi appointed land overseers to work jointly with the board on land administration matters.

Bogosi appointed trusted, responsible and accountable people to be land overseers therefore it was a big disappointment to learn that some were involved in encouraging squatting, he said.

According to the findings, Kgosi Ledimo said, some land overseers agreed with community members to allocate themselves plots and then approach the land board for formalisation.

While appreciating that land overseers played a huge role in assisting land authorities with administration of the resource, he said squatting caused conflicts as some people accused the land board of denying them an opportunity to own plots and improve their lives.

"I would like to apologise for this disturbing behaviour because our belief is that land overseers should join forces with you to fight against mushrooming of squatters, not to encourage illegal self-allocation of land," he said.

Kgosi Ledimo called for harmonious relations between bogosi and the land board.

He urged land board members to engage dikgosi or senior tribal leaders to avoid making mistakes explaining that some land overseers could mislead them hence the need to verify with the kgotla. He acknowledged that land boards referred inheritance cases to dikgosi to mediate and make recommendations.

Earlier, Tawana Land Board secretary, Ms Neo Mothobi had urged new members to lead by example in land administration.

She also encouraged them to familiarise themselves with land legislation and policies in order to execute their services with due diligence.

Ms Mothobi said land issues were complex and needed focused and committed people to deliver to community expectations.

She told participants to do their best to satisfy their customers.

New members were also urged to refrain from active politics.

Ms Mothobi noted that some members were former councillors and urged them not to wear party colours as it might give a wrong impression and damage the land board's image.

Members were urged not to be defensive when the public complained but rather to educate them about existing laws and policies. Decisions, she said, should be taken in accordance with the law.

 

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