DISANA RESIDENTS DEMAND P50 MILLION DEBT FROM GOVT OKAVANGO VOICE
About 2000 households who were relocated from Botshabelo and Sedie wards in 2004 to new Disana in Maun this week put government under pressure to pay the promised compensation.
The relocated residents whose patience is now waning after waiting for 16 years for money are now demanding payment with interest.
“This is a long outstanding debt. Some people were never paid while those who were paid were not given the full amount. We were not paid the mandatory 40% of the total sum, which was the relocation factor,” explained Village Development Committee Chairperson, Kehitlhang Mokgweetsi.
According to Mokgweetsi, at least 2 182 people were owed by the government.
Meanwhile it has emerged that overall numbers of people demanding payment did not tally with government records.
In a kgotla meeting in Disana on Friday, minister of Transport and Communications, Thulaganyo Segokgo said that plans were afoot to compensate 1009 people, which was the number indicated in government record.
However following queries that were raised at the Kgotla, he promised to return with a comprehensive report within a month so that the matter could be resolved once and for all.
“I have heard you, but I will go back and digest this matter so we can start an audit of these numbers. I will return to you with a response within a month,” said the minister.
The compensation issue has been raging on for the past 16 years with a little over 100 people allegedly having received part payment in two batches from government.
On Friday, disappointed residents said they went to the Kgotla meeting with high expectations of returning home with cheques.
“When I was on my way here, somebody asked me to take her Omang so I could collect her cheque on her behalf,” stated area member of parliament, Goretetse Kekgonegile of Maun East.
The Botshabelo and Sedie families find themselves in a sticky position after they were uprooted to give way for the expansion of the Maun airport