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Kweneng Landboard Chair talks politics, corruption and change

Last year government came under heavy scrutiny for appointing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members to high-paying landboard positions.

One such appointment that caused raised eyebrows was Kgang Kgang.

The seasoned politician dropped out of Bulela Ditswe days before BDP was to vote for its Mogoditshane parliamentary candidate ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The following year, Kgang was made Kweneng Landboard Chairperson.

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Now well settled in his new role as boss, DANIEL CHIDA caught up with Kgang to find out what impact he has made at what is widely regarded as one of the most corrupt landboards in the country.

Do you still have ambitions of returning to active politics?

After 35 years in politics I did call it quits last year after I was appointed Kweneng Landboard Chair and I don’t see myself going back.

I’m now in my 50s and I have to focus on other duties, a lot has changed in politics and I don’t intend going there again.

Mind you, I volunteered to step down to support our current Member of Parliament, Tumiso Rakgare.

What do you have to say to critics who believe the most recent round of landboard appointments, including your own, were politically motivated?

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There is freedom of association and unfortunately I happen to have been one of those who associated with the BDP members.

As a qualified engineer, I think there will be many gains than looking at the people I associated with.

What is your mandate?

When I got appointed, there were 504 cases at Tribunal which came from Kweneng Landboard, it was a clear sign that we have a problem.

Although I have settled well, we still have a long way in fighting corruption.

So just how bad is the corruption within landboards?

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I found 41 employees on suspension for illegal transactions and it shows that people were corrupt.

I oversee Motlokwe, Letlhakeng, Mogoditshane, Lephephe, Thamaga, Lentsweletau and Molepolole Sub Land Boards but each has its own challenges which we have to look into.

Speaking of challenges, what causes such lengthy delays in allocating plots?

There have been many processes to be followed but we are cutting that; we cannot be going back and forth for something that can be handled by the landboard alone.

The coordination between councils and landboard has been another issue that played a role as it was a bit slow.

Is there land though?

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Yes there is land but farm owners are not willing to give up their land. We have managed to get 247 hectares in Mmankgodi, 140 hectares in Greater Gaborone near Mmopane and another piece of land which can take 700 blocks near Bokamoso Hospital.

Some of the said land is ready for allocation. We have to allocate more people before the end of this year.

What’s the hold up?

The issue of servicing the land first before allocation has been the biggest stumbling block.

There was also not enough communication between landboard and the community, it has to be sorted.

So going forward, what more needs to be done?

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We have to change land administration, you find someone having inherited or allocated land but not developing it.

We have to have a maximum development of three years or risk losing the land. People don’t want to develop their land.

People now come for division of their land, they share with others and this means that as the landboard we should also reduce the size of plots allocated to an individual.