Kgosi Tawana Applied for Land Before

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  • Maele not telling the truth- Tawana charges
  • Tawana wants his inheritance in Moremi Game Reserve
  • Sacked Land Board Officials weigh legal options
  • Ngamiland MPs in solidarity with sacked Land Board officials

SONNY SERITE

Batawana Paramount Chief and Member of Parliament for Maun West Tawana Moremi has dismissed as misleading a letter in which beleaguered former Minister of Lands Prince Maele informed the Tawana tribal leadership that Kgosi Kgolo of Batawana had requested for land in the Moremi Game Reserve on behalf of the community.
In a confidential letter dated 23rd February 2018 and addressed to Kgosi Kealetile Moremi, Maele informed her of a consultative meeting held on 19th February 2018 which discussed the land required for tourism development in North West district. Part of the letter reads, ‘‘The community (represented by Kgosi Kgolo among others) has previously expressed an interest to be allocated one of the three (3) identified sites. This interest by the community has not been processed because the community is yet to constitute a trust or an entity that can apply for the plot.’’
Kgosi Tawana has however dismissed this assertion as untrue as he contends that no request was ever made on behalf of the community but rather, he made the request in his personal capacity and has been thrown from pillar to post ever since. Tawana revealed that he has held consultations with Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Tshekedi Khama long before British billionaire Sir Richard Branson came into the picture and during their discussions, Tawana expressed his desire to benefit from his forefathers’ land at Chief’s Island in the Moremi Game Reserve.
The largest island in the Okavango Delta, Chief’s Island measures 70km long and 15km wide and  is so named because it was once the sole hunting preserve for Tawana’s grandfather Kgosi Mathiba Moremi. For many years now, Tawana has been calling on government to give him a portion of land in the Moremi Game Reserve as he is entitled to the inheritance. Tawana has at some point threatened to issue a statutory notice to government on intention to sue over the ownership of Moremi Game Reserve.
The Moremi Game Reserve was established in 1963 by Batawana, who handed the land to government to take care of its administration and management in 1979. Presently, Chief’s Island is home to Wilderness Safaris’ famed Mombo Camp located in the Mombo Concession of the reserve and is famously referred to as a ‘predator capital of Africa’ and is a mecca for international tourists. Wilderness Safaris, of which former President Ian Khama is a shareholder, operates prime exclusive camps in the Moremi Game Reserve which comprises of lush forests, lagoons and islands that teem with wildlife.
Meanwhile the four Tawana Land Board officials who were recently dismissed from work by Maele just before he too was kicked out of Cabinet by President Masisi have hinted that they are weighing their options and do not rule out the possibility of approaching the courts of law to challenge their dismissal. The contracts of the four board members, Tebogo Boalotswe, Onkgomoditse Gabakakanngwe, Selinah Phorano and Mpho Mothoka were terminated by Maele on the 29th March 2018 after they allegedly frustrated his efforts to allocate some portion of land in the Moremi Game Reserve to British businessman Sir Richard Branson. This publication is reliably informed that Members of parliament Tawana Moremi, Costa Markus and Thato Kwerepe have met with the newly appointed minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Kefentse Mzwinila pleading with him to rescind Maele’s decision and reinstate the board members. Sources have however indicated that Mzwinila’s predicament may arise from the fact that Maele appointed new members immediately after dismissing the four. One of the sacked board members, Tebogo Boalotswe confirmed on Sunday that they intend to meet their lawyers this week with a view to map the way forward. Minister Mzwinila did not respond to our enquiries before press time on Monday afternoon.

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