The Land Question and Colonial Legacy in North-Eastern Botswana <Articles>
JIDC_16-2_129.pdf 1.35 MB
Manatsha, Boga Thura
Maharjan, Keshav Lall
The land question in north-eastern Botswana has been, over a century now, a controversial political issue in the country. The article argues that this region faces an inevitable land crisis; which can be politically volatile, if not addressed urgently, but cautiously. It also contends that the concessions signed by European concessionaires in the 1880s, which legitimized colonial land alienation and expropriation, were, and still are, 'dubious' if not, 'fraudulent'. Proclamation No. 2 of 1911, issued by the British colonial administration, still constraints the implementation of a sound land reform. Villagers and opposition politicians regard the government's approach to the land question as lukewarm, and its treatment of Tati Company and absentee landlords, in particular, tenderly. A neo-liberal approach to the land question is, however, pervasive in southern Africa. The article concludes that a radical land reform in North East, which takes into cognizance, historical injustices, and aims at correcting them, is a must and overdue.