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Khama urged to intervene in Balete land dispute

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ON HIS WAY OUT: Khama bidding Balete farewell

President Ian Khama has been requested to intervene in the longstanding land dispute between Balete and government before he retires.

During the President’s farewell visit to Ramotswa yesterday, the area Member of Parliament- Samuel Rantuana, reminded Khama that the Bamalete Kgale farm which from time immemorial has been held by the Kgosi as the custodian of tribal property, belongs to Balete.

“The government says it needs 1 000 hectares of this farm, which has been included within the Gaborone Development Plan. For five years, the government and the tribe have been engaged in prolonged negotiations regarding the government’s intention to acquire this land. After the long negotiations the government has now turned around and says the freehold land is actually “tribal land” and that it ceased to be freehold in 1972. We want the investors to engage us so that we can also benefit from the developments,” said Rantuana

The MP said there is another land in Metsimaswaana which was allocated to people by the chief and that the occupants have now been declared squatters and are forced to vacate it.
Rantuana said he does not know where the landboard wants those people to go.

For his part, Khama promised to summon the Landboard Secretary to brief him about the disputed land issues and promised Balete that he will address them accordingly.

He thanked them for the support they gave him during his term and asked them to do the same for the next president, Mokgweetsi Masisi.

In his earlier visit to Tlokweng, the president was showered with presents which included 7 cows, 4 goats, 2 sheep, 6 chickens, 41 bibles among other gifts and P47 000 cash.

Balete gave him 2 Heifers, 1 horse, 11 chickens and cash amounting to P34 451.80.