There has been several media reports concerning the removal of four (4) Board members of Tawana Land Board from office. The District leadership including the area Members of Parliament subsequently made representations to ask for a review of the process of their removal from office and a pardon for the affected Land Board members.
After careful review of the circumstances and process leading to their removal from office, and after consultations with other affected Land Board Members, the Government has taken a decision to pardon the four Land Board members and reinstate them with immediate effect.
The matter was amicably settled after a series of discussions with all affected parties. The Government appreciates the mature manner in which the discussions leading to this settlement were conducted. The Government further notes with appreciation, the commitment by the affected members to serve the people of Ngami District, and Batswana in general, to the best of their ability and with humility.
Government commits to uphold the principle of consultations with stakeholders in land management, taking note of their sensitivity and importance to the lives of Batswana. This principle of consultations with Bogosi on land management issues has recently been incorporated in the re-enactment of the Tribal Land Act.
Government is committed to sustainable management of natural resources, including and especially tourism, for socio economic development of all Batswana. This commitment extends to ensuring maximum involvement and benefit of local communities.
Government recognises tourism as an engine of growth. It is the second revenue source for the country and has a lot of potential to generate more revenues for the country. Regarding land for tourism in Ngamiland and indeed the rest of the country, Government will continue to promote foreign direct investment in the Sector, whilst simultaneously promoting citizen participation and specifically, participation and benefit of local communities.
Government assures the reinstated members of its support and is appreciative of those who have had to continue to serve during this period.
*MZWINILA is the Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services