allAfrica.com: Botswana: Magama Develops Cold Feet As Saleshando Moves BHC Motion (Page 1 of 1)

allAfrica.com: Botswana: Magama Develops Cold Feet As Saleshando Moves BHC Motion (Page 1 of 1): "Ramadeluka Seretse"

The Botswana National Front (BNF) MP for Gaborone South, Akanyang Magama, developed cold feet on Friday when he deferred a motion requesting government to amend Sections 32 and 35 of the country's Constitution.
The MP wanted the sections amended to provide for the direct election of the state president and to abolish automatic succession to the presidency by the Vice President.
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He did not give reasons for deferring the motion. Two motions by the Leader of Opposition, Otsweletse Moupo could not be discussed because he had travelled with Selebi-Phikwe East MP, Nonofo Molefhi to Tanzania on Friday morning to attend a conference HIV/AIDS legislation.
The MP for Gaborone Central, Dumelang Saleshando, tabled a motion requesting government to review the mandate of the Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) and empower it to deliver affordable houses for the lower and middle-income groups. He argued that BHC is not doing enough to provide housing for the low-income people who are the majority. He said BHC should re-invest the profit it gets from its commercial endeavours like construction of high cost houses and malls to build affordable houses for the low-income population. He cited Block 7 low cost houses that cost over P200,000 and only those who earn P11,000 per month qualify for a bank loan to purchase them.
Saleshando stated that housing is a human right that cannot be overlooked. He said there is a high demand for houses but BHC is only able to build very few or nothing every year.
He suggested that the mandate of BHC should be split into two - commercial and social.
The commercial operations should be charged with providing funds for the social arm for development. Saleshando urged government to stop subsidising high cost houses for the well-paid. He said such people are not interested in BHC houses and want land to build residents of their own choice.
He said that the dividend BHC declared to government this year could build 400 low-cost housing units. The MP said his proposed social arm of BHC will access donations from the international community to build houses for the needy.
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MP for Letlhakeng West, Filbert Nagafela and MP for North East Guma Moyo supported the motion. However, Moyo called for the review of the Housing Policy to address all problems hampering BHC.
Minister of Lands and Housing Ramadeluka Seretse did not support or amend the motion. He said that the BHC mandate is not the problem but the implementation. He explained that the BHC Act is clear and states that the corporation should not be driven by profit.
He acknowledged that BHC is failing to meet the demand for housing. He said that government is working on the concerns Saleshando raised and that BHC is going to build more houses in peri-urban areas.

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