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- Plot changed hands between construction companies illegally
- Tawana Land board failed to act for 10 years
- The rightfully leased company’s contract ended in 2014
- Board only investigated following NWDC councillors’ outcry
- TLB promises to make perpetrators pay for illegal occupation
Councillors in the North West District (NWDC) have criticised Tawana Land Board (TLB) for allowing a certain Chinese construction company to illegally occupy a plot at Sedie Ward.
The company has been contracted to build government accommodation houses by Matlapana circle. Some other companies engaged for development project in Maun are reported to be making money through leasing the said area among themselves. The companies are reported to be handing the plot to new companies for rental once their contracts end.
In 2021 infuriated councillors demanded to know from the board about its agreement with the company occupying the said plot and how it was benefiting from such an arrangement.
Presenting the report on the matter before NWDC this week, the board’s chairman Emmanuel Dube confirmed that TLB has a 100 metre by 100 metre plot with two asbestos buildings in Sedie which is currently being illegally occupied by a Chinese company since 2014.
Dube noted that on their visit to the site, they found out that the current company occupying the plot was given permission by another company named Co-plant Botswana, which he confirmed was leased the area for a period of three years in 2009.
He acknowledged that it took the board some time to realise that those who were leased the plot are no longer using it and that they have handed it to a different company illegally
“Co-plant Botswana was involved in the expansion of the airport, it was given a 3-year lease in 2009 to store their property during implementation of the projects, it was further given a one year extension to October 2013,” Dube noted.
According to him, during the period when it occupied the plot, Co-plant Botswana was instructed to pay an amount of P1000 monthly adding that they were also to conduct a rehabilitation of the area upon the end of their contract.
“Co-plant Botswana however handed over the plot to the current company when their project ended in 2013 and the rehabilitation of the area was not conducted. We are not aware about the agreement between the two companies but we will instantly look into the matter,” Dube said.
Dube highlighted that the board has since made a decision to meet with Co-plant Botswana understand the matter and map a way forward. He indicated that outcomes from the meeting will determine their decision. The chairman assured council that appropriate measures will be taken to correct the situation.
Area councillor Kaukapita Kaukapita expressed disappointed that it took ten years for the board to know about the plot, an act which he condemned was ignorance and negligence since they were aware that the initial contract long ended. Kaukapita said his expectation is for the board to follow the same procedure it used to demolition illegal land occupants’ homes in Sedie, Shashe and Boronyane.
According to the councillor, the company was called before council on two consecutive occasions but failed to honour the call, an act which for forceful removal from the plot.
“I have witnessed a 98-year-old squatter’s house being destroyed by a JCB without negotiations, but now the board is nursing a multi -million company which has been freely occupying the area and making money through leasing the area,” Kaukapita criticised.
Boro councillor Kenson Kgaga also shared the same sentiments condemning the board for having taken 10-years to know of the status of an area it leased to a company.
Kgaga shamed the board for allowing foreigners to illegally benefit from Botswana’s resources while Batswana are not accruing the same benefits.
“We want the company to vacate the area and we also demand them to compensate for illegally occupying the area for the past ten years. If foreigners can make business and benefit from our natural resources in the presence of council leadership then we are not capable of leading North West,” Kgaga condemned.