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Kgafelas sweeping powers confirmed

Kgosi Kgafela II of Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela’s marathon battle against Kgosi Nyalala Pilane in Moruleng, South Africa has finally come to an end; and the former is punching his fists in the air as a sign of ‘victory’.

The commission established to investigate challenges engulfing the Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela released a report of findings and recommendations which have been blessed by the Premier of North West. In its report the Commission writes that, “On the role of the paramount chief, the power and procedure to appoint a Kgosi, the correct relationship between Kgafela Kgafela II and Kgosi in Moruleng under the Constitution; and the role of the 32 villages in the appointment of Kgosi, we find that according to custom and tradition, Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela –  The title “Paramount Chief” is used interchangeable with Kgosi e Kgolo” and “Kgosikgolo”, in present day, the title “Kgosikgolo” is commonly used.”

The commission concludes that both the communities and the royal family of Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela in Mochudi and Moruleng have historically recognized the institution of Kgosikgolo with jurisdiction in Mochudi and Moruleng. “Both the communities and the royal family in Mochudi and Moruleng have historically recognized the seniority of Kgosikgolo to Kgosi in Mochudi and Moruleng. Kgosikgolo selects the Kgosi in Mochudi, Botswana and in Moruleng, Saulpoort. He has the power to remove the Kgosi.”

Both the communities and the royal family in Mochudi and Moruleng have historically recognized the power of Kgosikgolo to select a Kgosi for each of the two communities. There is no prescribed procedure for the selection of a Kgosi in Moruleng. Kgosikgolo may, at his discretion, consult members of the royal family and or other persons as he may determine.

According to the findings of the Commission, “A Kgosi may only be removed in circumstances provided for in sec 14 of the NW Act. If Kgosikgolo wishes to remove Kgosi from office, he can only do so in accordance with section 14 (1). Kgosikgolo plays no role in the administration of the affairs of the community in both Mochudi and Moruleng. The administration of both communities is the province of the Kgosi in both communities.”

The report emphasizes that in Moruleng, Kgosikgolo becomes involved with administrative matters only upon the invitation of the Kgosi, the Royal Family or the community. He does not, of his own accord, become involved in matters that fall within the province of the Kgosi.
“Kgosikgolo has no legal standing to be involved in the discharge of the functions of the Kgosi in terms of the NW Act.

As the senior leader in terms of custom and tradition, he may act at the request of the community, but in doing so, may not assume the functions reserved for Kgosi by the NW Act and the Framework Act. Any involvement in matters which fall within the province of the Kgosi must be with the consent or acquiescence of the Kgosi, provided that it does not result in a degration of the powers and functions of the Kgosi,” reads the report.

According to the report, the NW Act recognizes the State’s duty to “respect, protect and promote the institution of traditional leadership in accordance with the dictates of democracy in South Africa”. “BBK in Moruleng have historically elected to be governed by a system that recognizes the institution of Kgosikgolo, his status as a senior Kgosi and his role to select a Kgosi. The State has a duty to uphold this choice of Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela of Moruleng. This does not offend the Constitution and is consistent with the constitutional recognition of protection of customary law and its leadership structures.”  

The report by the Premier also points out that the 32 villages in Moruleng do not play any role in selecting or officiating the appointment of the Kgosi in Moruleng. Addressing the merits and demerits of Mr Merafhe Ramono’s claim to chieftainship in Moruleng, the commission established that “historically, Bogosi in Moruleng has not been hereditary. Kgosikgolon in Mochudi selected the Kgosi in Moruleng. This was the case with Kgosi Ramono I, selected by Kgosi Linchwe I; and was the case with Kgosi Tidimane, selected by Kgosi Molefi I. it was also the case with current Kgosi Pilane who was selected by Kgosi Linchwe II.” The report notes that all dikgosi in Moruleng were selected from the royal family.

The report further notes, “the rightful heir to Bogosi in Moruleng would have been whoever Kgosikgolo selected in accordance with practice and custom at the time. We are therefore unable to identify the person that Kgosikgolo would have identified “had Kgosi Tidimane not acted in the manner that he did” of seeking to appoint his eldest son Merafe Ramono.”  The report concludes that Merafe Ramono has no rightful or natural claim to bogosi by virtue of the fact that he is the eldest son of Kgosi Tidimane.

Further enunciating on the role of the kgosi in Moruleng the report notes that Kgosi Pilane is singularly involved with commercial activities conducted on behalf of or in the name of Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela. This includes financial matters related to or arising from transactions with third parties. “Of members of the Traditional Council, Kgosi Pilane has chosen to involve only Mr Kagiso Pilane, his nephew, in matters relating to commercial transactions with third parties,” reads the report.

It states that Kgosi Pilane does not meaningfully consult with or seek the approval of the community in transactions with third parties, including application of monies deriving from transactions with third parties. Kgosi Pilane has also established or authorized the establishment of a web of companies to conduct business on behalf of or in the name of Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela, persons involved in the companies only report to Kgosi Pilane. Kgosi Pilane does not report or account to the Traditional Council about the activities of the companies; neither does he report or account to the community, says the report.

According to the report filed with the Premier and approved by the same office, Kgosi Pilane has failed to take any steps to resolve complaints of financial maladministration against him. “Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela have, under the leadership of Kgosi Pilane, concluded significant commercial transactions relating to their natural resources, the minerals in particular. From these, they earned significant income and hold assets with great financial value.”  

However it was established that the 32 villages have no meaningful involvement in decisions to acquire interests or to invest in commercial entities. “Decisions to acquire and to invest are primarily made by Kgosi Pilane. It was also established that none of the income earned from significant transactions with third parties has been paid into the account administered by government as prescribed by sec 30 of the NW Act.”

It has been revealed further that Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela have not been granted authorization to operate a trust account  and to pay into such an account monies earned from transactions with third parties as prescribed by the Act. It has emerged that Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela invested money in excess of R900 million without seeking or being granted authorization by the Premier to invest surplus funds as required by the NW Act. Furthermore the accounts and the financial statements of Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela have never been audited by the Auditor General as prescribed by the Act.

The report by the commission has recommended a forensic investigation to conduct a comprehensive investigation of transactions and the financial affairs of the Traditional Council and its companies. It has also recommended that the Premier use his powers to appoint a person to manage the affairs of the Traditional Council.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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