13 June 2018

Botswana: Desist From Corruption-Mzwinila

Palapye — Employees of Land boards have been implored to be vigilant and refrain from acts of corruption.

The appeal was made by Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Minister Kefentse Mzwinila an Operationalisation of the Amendments to the Tribal Land Act and Deeds Registry Act held at Palapye's Majestic Five Hotel on Monday.

Minister Mzwinila said due to high demand for land, unscrupulous elements attempted to infiltrate the system in order to tempt officers into illicit transactions.

Some land board members had been implicated in these types of transactions before, he stated.

Mr Mzwinila said land allocation and management was one of the most vital cornerstones of the national economy therefore land board members had enormous power to influence the socio-economic and political development of the country.

"As custodians of over 75 per cent of land, the lives of Batswana are placed in your hands," he said.

He said responsibilities, trust and confidence the nation had bestowed on them dictated that their conduct during and outside work should be commensurate with such expectations.

"You are here to serve the nation and as servants of the people, your personal interests are subordinate to those of the public," he said.

Mr Mzwinila, who is also MP for Mmadinare informed the land boards that they should educate themselves first and then educate citizens about amendments to the stated acts so that they both understood and appreciated their implications.

For the first time in history, land boards would now have the responsibility to perform conveyancing unlike before and for the first time customary land grants would be registered directly at the deeds registry.

"These new concepts are prominent changes which will demand that we become extra careful in the manner in which we introduce them into our structures.

We will have to hit the ground running because Batswana out there have waited patiently for these developments especially regarding issuance of New Secure Land Titles, " he said.

Mr Mzwinila urged land boards to accelerate their processes to ensure that all unregistered land parcels were captured into the system because other government departments were eagerly waiting to capitalise on the information in order to optimise service delivery.

Furthermore he said his ministry had a mammoth task of delivering on the management and administration of the vital resources of land and water.

The two commodities, he said, were experiencing constant pressure from the fast and ever-growing human and animal populations and other competing needs.

"The management of these vital resources comes with the unique sensitivities which deserve meticulous attention and care."

He urged land board to familiarise themselves with the 10 Point Agenda which was devised to provide a yardstick to measure how much performance satisfies the expectations placed upon their shoulders by the communities they serve.

He said the set service standards must also improve to ensure that the public receives the services they want within reasonable time.

Source : BOPA

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