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Setsile residents remain illegal occupants

13 Apr 2023

Parliament has heard that Setsile residents in the Central District  remain illegal occupants following a ruling from the Land Tribunal.

Answering a parliamentary question on Wednesday, Minister of Lands and Water Affairs, Dr Kefentse Mzwinila said government was compelled to comply with the ruling and therefore did not have bearing on the development of plots.

Dr Mzwinila told Parliament that 474 people occupied illegal residential plots and six had ploughing fields in 2014 while the last allocations were made nine years ago when 124 residents were regularised.

He said there were 65 people on the waiting list.

“Concerted efforts are being made to identify village growth areas in consultation with the community and survey a base map to facilitate the Mahalapye District Council to design a layout,” he said.

He said residents were free to appeal the Land Tribunal’s decision at the High Court.

Parliament also heard that Setsile was declared a recognised settlement in 2007 and people who occupied plots at the time were issued with certificates of customary land grants for residential purposes.

“However, post the declaration there were allocations which were not sanctioned by the land board. 

Profiling of those who had allocated themselves in 2014 revealed that there were 474 self-allocations. 

Those who have self-allocated plots were given notices to have vacated by April 15, 2016 while 137 of those served with notices appealed the decision of the sub-land board to the main land board, which upheld the earlier decision and ordered that they vacate the plots within three months,” he said.

He added that from the 137, a total of 73 had lodged an appeal at the Palapye Land Tribunal, but lost on October 7, 2016.

“The land board did not implement the eviction order from the Land Tribunal as government wanted to study the matter and come up with a criteria for amnesty to the occupants depending on the nature and background of squatting,” he said.

Mahalapye East MP, Mr Yandani Boko had asked the minister if he was aware that it had been years since the ministry declared that some Setsile residents were illegally occupying residential plots. 

Mr Boko was of the view that such a position prevented the residents from fully developing the said residential plots.

He also wanted to know the number of residents who illegally occupied residential plots and ploughing fields. 

The legislator further asked the minister if he was aware that it had been over 15 years without allocating residential plots at Setsile. ENDS 

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : Gaborone


Date : 13 Apr 2023