chapter  19
Compensation for expropriation in Botswana
Issues and transformative suggestions
ByDonald Mengwe
Pages 27

This chapter describes the compensation laws and the evolution of land tenure which are essential ingredients for determining the quantum of compensation. It also explores different perspectives on the purpose of the constitutional property clause and approaches articulated in commentaries on assessing just compensation. In the pre-colonial era in territories that later came to form the nation-state called Botswana, most ethnic groups showed a disposition toward egalitarian principles in terms of land allocation and utilization. After independence, attained in 1966, the new government retained the edifice of customary land tenure. Land tenure in Botswana since independence has evolved in a gradual and cautious manner to avoid social and economic disruptions. The issue of compensation continues to intrigue and bemuse commentators and naturally concerns those who have to bear the brunt of expropriations, as resistant to the eminent domain is uncommon. Expropriating property without compensation would lead to inefficient outcomes, which is in stark contrast to conditions under a market discipline.