All Dikgosi across the country are united and will fight to the bitter end with Government to see Bogosi Act, especially section 13 &15 scrapped off as it gives politicians more powers while leaving them (Dikgosi) as mere subjects.
The traditional leaders’ concern come at a time when they believe they are made redundant by politicians. According to Dikgosi, who were initially the political leaders they should be above politicians or at the same level hence they demand that a Minister should not have powers to de-recognize them, let alone be under the supervision of a minister-politician.
Section 13 of Bogosi Act read as thus; “If the Minister has reasonable cause to believe that the Kgosi of any tribe; or any tribe or section of a tribe lodges with the Minister a complaint that the Kgosi of that tribe, is incapable of exercising his or her powers, has abused his or her powers, is being insubordinate or is refusing or has refused to carry out lawful orders, or is for any reason not a fit and proper person to be a Kgosi, the Minister shall make such enquiry or cause such enquiry to be made as he or she may consider appropriate and shall afford the Kgosi an opportunity to be heard.
Section 15 which is focused on withdrawal of recognition from Kgosi read as: If after the holding of an enquiry, the allegations made against the Kgosi are proved, the Minister may caution or reprimand the Kgosi; order the stoppage of increment of the salary of the Kgosi; suspend the Kgosi; if he or she considers it to be expedient and in the interest of peace, good order and good governance, depose such Kgosi or extend the suspension for a period not exceeding two years.
All these are rubbing Dikgosi the wrong way and want erased from the act. Kgosi Kebinatshwene Mosielele of Manyana has come out loud that those sections should be removed. “We have always maintained our stance that it should be removed. As a Kgosi you are born leader so there is no how someone, a politician can have powers to de-recognise you. We will continue to raise that concern until something happens,” he said in a brief interview from hospital bed. The last Kgosi to be de-recognised was Kgosi Kgafela of Bakgatla in 2011.
It seems Dikgosi are still hurt on how Minister Chapson Butale brutally suspended Kgosi Seepapitso of Bangwaketse in the past and don’t want that to happen again. “It is better Kgosi reprimands the other than someone else reprimanding it. Remember what Minister Butale did to Kgosi Seepapitso when he suspended him from Bogosi, we don’t want that,” Kgosi Maforaga of Palapye told this paper in the past.
The reasons for Kgosi Seepapitso’s suspension as given by the Minister and reflected in court judgments, were that the proposed visit of His Excellency President Frederick Chiluba of Zambia at Kanye on 13th April 1994, had to be cancelled in the face of lack of coordinated preparation for the visit owing to his non-co-operation and in the light of uncertainty as to his whereabouts on that day.
â€¨The other reason given was that a kgotla meeting which the Minister was to address to explain this cancellation to the BaNgwaketse did not take place due to Kgosi Seepapitso IV’s non-cooperation. The Minister also gave Kgosi Seepapitso IV’s past behaviour as a reason for his suspension without being specific.â€¨â€¨After suspending Kgosi Seepapitso, the Minister installed Kgosi Seepapitso IV’s son, the then apparent heir, the late Leema Gaseitsiwe, on an acting capacity. He also withheld fifty percent of Kgosi Seepapitso IV’s salary as Chief.
Not only this but Dikgosi don’t want to be under Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and want to have their own structure led by one of them. “We are confused as to whether we fall under Presidential Affairs Ministry, Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture Development as well as Defence, Justice and Security, so all these should come under one roof. We are the only institution with an act but no Ministry,” Kgosi Matlapeng from Tlokweng has also told this publication.
Despite raising all these, the government is still quiet as to whether the Bogosi Act would be amended and whether they will have their own ministry as they have proposed. This publication’s enquiry sent to the Ministry last week, was not yet responded to at a time of going to press. Those in the know however share with WeekendPost that the government is considering the demands but will not commit anytime soon. Among other demands Dikgosi want, is to have their conditions of service be improved and be put on the same scale as that of High Court Judges.
Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.
Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”
Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”
The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.
“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.
Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.
Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.
Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.
Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”
In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”
Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.
“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.
Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.
Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.
He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”
Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.
“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.
One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.
A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.
Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.
A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.”
Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.