Residents Doubt Government Compensation Promise!

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…This as Molale assures Disaneng residents payments by March 2023

New Disana residents in Maun who were relocated from Botshabelo and Sedie Wards 16 years ago to pave way for the expansion of Maun International Airport have expressed doubts over the promises made recently by Transport and Public Works Minister, Eric Molale on making all the payments owed by March 2023.

Addressing the residents last week, Molale acknowledged the delays over the years and also highlighted the need for the issue to be closed. He said the delays were due to a number of factors, which government has taken a decision to deal with over a short period of time.

He promised that government will also rectify the situation where wrong rates were applied for compensation.

“From December 2022 residents will be receiving their payments and by March 2023 all those who were affected will be fully paid,” Molale assured.

Molale has also assured residents that a committee compromising of relevant stakeholders from various governmental departments whose purpose will be to assist residents on complaints they have shall be formed.

Speaking at the same meeting, area councillor Rizera Kazenambo, did not hide his doubts, arguing that the ministry has always made similar promises for the past 16 years but failed to live up to them. He further noted that there are still unresolved issues of the 5% interest rate which residents have decried about and no answers were given as to why residents received only half of the interest rate.

“Until such issues are resolved the compensation process will drag and the interest rate will keep accumulating making it difficult for the government to fully clear the debt,” Kazenambo said.   

Kazenambo also complained that government departments involved in processing the compensations are reluctant and not working together to ensure that residents are fully compensated.

He also revealed that the compensation has been messy from the beginning indicating that people who were deployed by Tawana Land Board to assess houses in 2006 before relocation were just employees who did not specialise on buildings assessments.

“People who were assigned to conduct the assessment were just TLB employees whose expertise in assessing land and not houses, most houses were devalued while others were overvalued,” Kazenambo claimed.

The councillor stressed that as building materials differ according to value and quality it is therefore imperative for those aspects to be taken into consideration when assessing a house. He however said this was not the case in 2006 as houses were assessed based on types.  About 1 391 residents have not been paid their remaining interest while 842 have not received any money since their relocation in 2006.

Most of the residents echoed their councillor’s concerns that for the past 16 years they have been sent from pillar to post when they sought their payments. They also revealed that a lot of promises that have been made before did not come to pass.

From the families who were relocated, 103 home owners have since passed on without collecting their dues and their money has since been placed through Francistown High Court for the deceased’s beneficiaries to claim the compensations.

Some residents were able to get their part of the 5% interest rate which was accumulated annually from 2006 to 2021 after they took government to court over the matter.

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