Gaborone — There are no initiatives to facilitate ownership of plots by Batswana who have sold their plots.
"In a free market economy like ours, it is the right of every plot owner to, within the limits of law, transact however they want with their property," Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Mr Kefentse Mzwinila told Parliament.
Mr Mzwinila explained that it was, however, permissible with development to the satisfaction of the land board, adding that the transfer of state land also required that the plot should be developed while freehold transfers were allowed without development.
However, Mr Mzwinila cautioned that transfer of tribal land was not permissible without development.
The spirit of the revised Botswana Land Policy as approved by Parliament on August 8, 2019 was to promote equity in access to land and natural resources, he said.
Further, the minister said that the Botswana Revised Land Policy provides that each Motswana would be eligible for allocation of one residential plot at an area of their choice within the country on both state land and tribal land.
He mentioned that additional plots might be acquired through the private market, inheritance or other legitimate channels recognised by law and in policy
"This means that those who have been hitherto allocated residential plots and subsequently disposed the plots through sale have compromised their eligibility for subsequent allocation of residential plots directly from the land authority," he said.
The same policy further pointed out that once allocated land in a particular use category, one may not be eligible for allocation of land in the same category after alienating the plot, he said.
He emphasised that the ministry would not make any special initiatives for those who had disempowered themselves by disposing their last residential plots through beneficial transfer in the villages of Maun Khwai, Mababe, Sankoyo, Shorobe,Sexaxa,Matapana, Samedupe, Makalamabedi and Matsaudi.
Mr Mzwinila also pointed out that a total of 828 and 115 ploughing fields changed ownership in the above-mentioned villages from 2017 to date.
He said the number of households and children affected by change of ownership was not known as the ministry did not require applicants who changed ownership to provide information on the number of households or children who reside in such plots.
Mr Mzwinila was responding to the MP for Maun East, Mr Goretetse Kekgonegile, who asked for an update on initiatives by the land management, water and sanitation services ministry to facilitate ownership of the plots by Batswana, who previously sold their plots before the implementation of amended Land Policy in 2018.
He also asked about the number of residential and ploughing fields whose ownership had changed in Maun, Khwai, Mababe, Sankoyo, Shorobe, Sexaxa, Matapana, Samedupe, Makalamabedi and Matsaudi, together with the number of households and children affected by the change of ownership.
Source : BOPA