- Disputed farm land ends up in court
- FCC rejects proposed access
- Mayor says the proposed access is costly and not convenient
FRANCISTOWN: As the land disputes between Francistown city council (FCC) and Tati Company continue to unfold, the council has resolved to take legal actions against the latter for giving them controlled access to land they bought some years back.
The resolution to take the company to court according to Francistown Mayor Sylvia Muzila, comes after Tati denied the council free access to the property and imposed controlled access to the farm land FCC had bought.
Since the purchase of the property by the FCC from Tati the two entities have been at loggerheads over the farm land, with the council seeking to be given free access while on the other hand the company has resisted the council demands. The company’s resistance to grant council free access according to those close to the development, was that they wanted to buy the land back from the council. According to the Mayor after the company only granted the FCC controlled access to the farm, the councillors resolved to take the company to court.
However, The Botswana Gazette has learned that after the council threated Tati with legal action, the latter announced at a stakeholder meeting that they will give the council what it was demanding. The Company Manager Ogaisitse Khama at the meeting rubbished claims that they were denying the council free access stating that they have now resolved to give the council what they want. “Tati Company is not fighting with council over the farm, we only learnt from the media that we have denied the council access to the land they bought from us. But I want to assure the council that very soon Tati Company will give them access to their land,” Khama said when briefing the media and the council about the disputed land.
FCC Mayor has revealed however, that to their surprise the company only gave them controlled access, the decision which prompted the council to take the legal route initially. Muzila said the access they were given by the company is out of the way and costly therefore the council rejected it on the grounds that there is a more convenient access they could have been given. “How can Tati Company sell property then denies the buyer an access. As the council we want uncontrolled access to this plot because we have sewage ponds that need to be utilised, but because of controlled access we cannot. We have rejected the access the company proposed because it was costly to use. Further we can only access the farm in the company of authorities from Tati Company. This will inconvenience us because it means we do not have free access hence the resolution to take legal route,” Muzila pointed out in an interview.
For many years Tati Company’s land in the north region has been a source of concern to politicians from across the political divide. The politicians have been calling on government to repossess company land as they believe the land was acquired fraudulently during the colonial era.