Sexaxa evictions leave Granny, 104, homeless
17 families were left homeless on Friday following Tawana Land board demolition of homes at an illegal settlement in Sixaxa, 15 kilometres north of Maun.
Amongst those who were rendered homeless was a 104- year old grandmother, Maleshoane Kedisaletse who told The Voice that she did not have any other place apart from Sixaxa to call home. “I was born and bred here and that was before the introduction of the Land-board which ordered the destruction of my one roomed house.”
She built the house from her savings from the old age pension and did not think that she was going to save enough money again to build another structure at her age even if she was to be allocated a plot somewhere else.
The old woman said that she had no place to go to except to live under a mophane tree where she had kept a few of her belongings salvaged from her demolished room.
Speaking to The Voice whilst preparing her supper under the tree Kedisaletse said: “I was sick for weeks and whoever brought the eviction letter did not care whether I understood what was written in it or not. They simply dumped the papers on me and proceeded to other yards,thats how I failed to remove all my belonging from the house before most of them were buried in the rubble that ended up at the dump site,” said the old woman about the demolitions which came as a shock to the majority of the settlers.
Area Councillor Tapoloso Mosika of Botswana National Front and some councillors from the Botswana Movement for Democracy who came to show solidarity with the people on the day of the demolitions took some pictures which they said were going to be used to show the nation how cruel the government had been.
“If the government can find it fit to pardon murderers, how does it become so difficult for it to pardon these people?” Asked Mosika with reference Botswana Defence Force soldiers who were pardoned by the President Ian Khama after being convicted of shooting John Kalafatis to death in 2009.
Addressing the dispossessed community Mosika said that such incidents should not be forgotten, especially at the time of the elections in 2014 when the community can show their disapproval of such mistreatment by voting out the ruling party which he blamed for the evictions.
The day after the evictions the place looked deserted as the homeless people had moved to seek refuge inthe nearby farms.Efforts to get a comment from Tawana Land Board hit a snag as the Board Secretary was said to be out of the office.