Bakgatla tribesmen are at loggerheads over meeting President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi about the prospects of him dropping the government’s 2011 Kgosi Kgafela II de-recognition order by the then Local Government Minister Lebonaamang Mokalake.
For some time now since Masisi ascended to the presidency, the issue has been discussed in various meetings by the tribal leadership with Kgafela’s Mangana regiment at the forefront. Reports say the tribe became deeply divided, with some strongly advocating for the meeting while others (Mangana regiment) believed Masisi should come to their own backyard in Mochudi to dialogue on a number of issues besieging them and the tribal leadership.
The tribe want Kgafela’s de-recognition order to be dropped and they believe Masisi is the only man who can do that. This is fuelled by his recent and consistent remarks that he will do everything to ensure that Kgafela returns home. In a leaked audio, Masisi who was addressing the BDP parliamentary candidates retreat workshop in May was heard saying a lot of tribal leaders were unhappy with the past administration, an anomaly that will be a priority on his agenda.
“A lot of tribal leaders were also unhappy with us. The other even went to an extent of dumping Botswana for South Africa, Kgafela of Bakgatla. And we know very well that our country is not complete without our tribal leaders. We must accept this reality,” Masisi is heard saying in the clip to thunderous applause from his audience. “I will not rest until Kgafela is back home. I will not, I will not,” he added.
Fortnight ago when officially opening the 38th BDP congress in Mochudi, Masisi again reiterated the statement. "Mmusi Kgafela is from the royal family and it shows that as the BDP we respect the institution of Bogosi. And as BDP we will do everything to ensure that his brother is backing home. I mean his real home. I will do everything to ensure that he enjoys the warmness of his home. Home I mean here,” Masisi said.
Mangana regiment’s Matshwenyego Ramotswetla has confirmed to this publication that they have pondered on the matter but never reached a consensus. “Since Masisi assumed office there has been talks about that but we were divided because others wanted us to meet Masisi but we didn’t agree to that because he was still new,” said Ramotswetla.
“At a time when we thought we could do so, then President faced a challenge in which he had a feud with his successor and we thought let us leave until it is resolved, until now. There is nothing concrete for now. “The fact of the matter was to discuss the de-recognition order and dropping of charges that Kgabo is facing,” he said.This week Kgafela’s brother who is also contesting the elections under the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for Mochudi West, Mmusi Kgafela also confirmed.
“I have personally met and asked Masisi to drop the de-recognition order, but he told me that in his government sedibeng go iwa ka tsela saying that during his time as VP this issue was not on his portfolio. He even advised me to go seek audience with the then Minister of Local government Pelonomi Venso-Moitoi of which we never had a chance to discuss the matter until he was removed from cabinet,” he said in an interview this week.
Mmusi added that in the past they have privately met former president Ian Khama to set aside the de-recognition order. “But he said he couldn’t allow for that because Kgafela has a South African ID which I’ am not sure about because the last time I engaged him (Kgosi) was in pursuit of it but remember Nyalala Pilane did everything to obstruct it.” Regarding the possibilities of dropping flogging charges facing Kgafela, Mmusi said he has never put it before Masisi.
“It would be too much for President because we have independent arms of government and it would seem as interference from the top. But maybe opposition could have had interest on the matter.” Another Mangana regiment member who preferred anonymity said there is no reason to meet Masisi and talk about that because he has never taken the issue seriously.
“We once confronted him about the matter in Moshupa when Kgosi Mosielele invited us to a cultural ceremony but instead he dismissed us saying our attire is anti-system. So how do you talk to that kind of a leader who divert issues,” said the member on Wednesday afternoon.
Bakgatla will have to wait for Masisi to convene a Kgotla meeting in Mochudi so that they could seriously deliberate on the matter.
KGAFELA WILL NOT GRACE MY LAUNCH – MMUSI
Speaking about his relationship with his brother, Mmusi says the relationship is okay but one thing for a fact is they don’t talk politics. “I don’t whether he will come, but wisdom lies on the organising committee. Invitations will be dished on the purpose of support. So how would I justify Kgafela’s presence? If he comes, he should do it voluntarily,” said Mmusi.
“The thing is, if he comes he will be obliged to also do the same to others. He will rather come after I win. It will be justified to call him then as activities will not be party based but communal and inclusive.” Mmusi was to be launched today (August 3rd) but the event has been moved to the 14th of next month in Mochudi.
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.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Lemogang Kwape says Botswana has not taken any position regarding the killing of a renowned human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, who was gunned down at his house in Mbabane, Eswatini.
In a brief interview with WeekendPost, Dr Kwape said Botswana has not yet taken any position regarding his death. He said the purported incident should be thoroughly probed before Botswana can form an opinion based on the findings of the inquiries.
“Botswana generally condemns any killing of human life by all means,” says Dr. Kwape. He wouldn’t want to be dragged on whether Botswana will support the suspension of Eswatini from SADC.
“We will be guided by SADC organ Troika if they can be an emergency meeting. I am not sure when the meeting will be called by Namibian president,“ he said.
However, the Namibian president Hage Geingob notes with deep concern reports coming out of Eswatini about the killing of Mr. Maseko. In a statement, he called upon the “Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensure that the killing of Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice.”
Maseko was chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was established as a coalition of non-State actors to advocate for a process of national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting the Kingdom.
“SADC expresses its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Maseko, his friends, colleagues, and to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the loss of Mr. Maseko. In this context, SADC further calls upon the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion,” the statement says.
Geingob reiterated the need for peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country.
Meanwhile political activists are calling on SADC to suspend Eswatini from the block including the African Union as well.
State prosecutor, Seeletso Ookeditse revealed before the Broadhurst Magistrate Jobbie Moilatshimo that the third accused involved in the murder of Barulaganye Aston, has interfered with the State witnesses again.
The second and third accused (Lefty Kosie and Outlwile Aston) were previously accused of interference when they were caught in possession of cellphones in prison. They were further accused of planning to kill the deceased’s brother, who is currently the guardian to the children of the deceased.
Ookeditse indicated that Outlwile had earlier went to challenge the magistrate’s decision of denying him bail at the High Court before Judge Michael Motlhabi.
“The third accused approached the High Court and made a bail application, which was dismissed on the same day,” Ookeditse said.
However, even after the High Court verdict on their bail application, the duo (Kosie and Aston) has once again applied for bail this week.
Ookeditse plead with the court to stop the accused from abusing the court process.
“Yesterday, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) received papers of his bail application filed before the Broadhurst Magistrates Court. However, the papers do not speak to changed circumstances, therefore this back and forth about bail must be put to a stop,” said the State prosecutor.
While giving evidence before court, the Investigations Officer, Detective Inspector Quite Zhalamonto, said his investigations have proved that there is interference continuing regarding the accused trio.
He told the court that on the 12th of January 2023, he received a report from Thato Aston, who is the son of the accused and the deceased. The son had alleged to the Investigation Officer that he received a call from one Phillip Molwantwa.
According to Zhalamonto, Thato revealed that Molwatwa indicated that he was from prison on a visit to the Outlwile Aston and went on to ask where he was staying and where his siblings (Aston’s children) are staying.
“Thato revealed that Phillip went on to ask if he or his siblings saw their father murdering their mother, and he was referring to the crime scene. Thato told me that he, however, refused to answer the questions as he was afraid especially because he was asked about where him and his siblings stay,” said Zhalamonto.
Zhalamonto alluded to the court that he then went to Orange to confirm the communication between Thato and Molwantwa where he found the case.
“I have arrested Philip yesterday and when I interviewed him, he did not deny that he knows Aston and that he has indeed called Thato and asked questions as to where him and his siblings resides even though he failed to give reasons for asking such questions,” Zhalamonto told the court.
He further revealed that Molwantwa indicated that he had received a call from an unknown man who refused to reveal himself.
“Phillip told me that the unknown man said he was sent by the accused (Aston), and that Aston had instructed him to tell me to check if there was still some money in his bank accounts, and he also wanted to know where the kids were residing, the unknown man even asked him to meet at Main Mall” the Investigation Officer told the court.
He further informed the court that he is working tirelessly to identify the “unknown caller” and the route of the cell number.
Furthermore, the fourth accused, Kebaleboge Ntsebe, has revealed to the court through a letter that she was abused and tortured by the Botswana Police Services. She wrote in her letter that she suffered miscarriage as a result of being beaten by the police.
Ntsebe is on bail, while a bail ruling for Aston and Kosie will be delivered on the 6th of next month