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Royal disputes freeze Bayei Chief coronation

The decision by government to stall Wayei chief coronation is as a result of egos and internal bickering by the tribe as to who should lead them to Ntlo Ya Dikgosi (NYD), WeekendPost has established.

The government through Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) has decided to recognize the Wayei as an independent ethnic group in 2016. For a long time Bayei have been taken as Batawana subjects something they vehemently challenged until government acceded to their demand-recognition. Ever since then, there have been delays relating to who will represent the tribe at Ntlo Ya Dikgosi. The tribe played the cards close to their chest blaming the government for the delay.

 However, fresh information depicts a tribe deeply divided and not willing to unite anytime soon to address the matter. At first it was agreed through the Wayeyi Chieftainship Council that Chief Fish Ozoo be their representative before the name of Pitoro Jacob Seedisa came out.
Moments later Lydia Ramahobo-Saleshando’s name also cropped out with some tribesmen arguing she is the right character to lead them and make deliberations at the NYD.

Bayei tribe has three royal families from which the chief has to be chosen. Those royal families include Bogosi Jwa ga Mathwara, Bogosi Jwa ga Hankuzi and Bogosi Jwa ga Xonkue. It is pointed out that a paramount chief of Bayei will always come from one of these families in case the position of the chief becomes vacant as the Chieftaincy in the Wayei tribe is not hereditary. Both Seedisa and Ozoo are reportedly from these families.

The Bayei chieftaincy was left vacant following the demise of Chief Shikati Calvin Kamanakao in 2003. Some tribe’s men who are now opposing any appointment for now suggest that any appointment should be on regency to hold the fort on behalf of the late Kamanakao’s son until he is old enough to take up the responsibility.

Kamanakao passed on before he could be legally recognized as Bayei chief although his tribe had installed him as paramount chief in April 1999, then Attorney General, Ian Kirby wrote the tribe in July of the same year telling them that they could not have a paramount chief as they were not legally recognised as a tribe. Before his demise, Kamanakao fought for the recognition of his people as an independent tribe.

Apart from the tribe disagreeing as to who should lead them, it is said the tribal council is adding petrol to the inferno. The past council headed by Gceba Ditando which has resigned but did not formally hand over to the new committee led by Jacob Samsosasin.  This, sources say makes it more difficult for the current committee to push the matter at government level so that the Wayei chieftainship could be closed once and for all.

“At least if there was hand-over it would be known as to how far they were especially in dealing with government because in terms of villagers selecting who to lead them, is not something difficult. We are a democratic dispensation and majority rule can always prevail,” a source who has been following the developments told this paper. The tribe has already proposed tribal boundaries which are rejected by other tribes with Bahambukushu leading the bandwagon.

 Bayei had allegedly proposed tribal boundaries from Tsau village to Ikoga gate. Another proposed boundary is said to be from Xurube to Gudigwa village in which Bahambukushu through Bungu WA Kathimana Association are opposing. The tribe is nonetheless expected to solve the issue this year. “It should be rested in 2019 because it would seem we are failing to manage ourselves.  It is not like government does not see this, that is when you will hear tomorrow that we are operating with a regent and not a fully-fledged Kgosi like other tribes,” added the seemingly concerned source.

There are about 37 other tribes which exist in Botswana, though the state does not recognize them. The total non-Tswana population is generally estimated at about 60 per cent. Experts say lack of recognition has also led to the inadequate provision of social services, such as education, in rural and minority dominated areas, 36 resulting in disproportionately high levels of poverty. In 1885, the then-Bechuanaland became a British protectorate and in 1933, the British authorities recognised eight tribes in the Chieftainship Act as follows: the Barolong, Bakwena, Bangwaketse, Balete, Bakgatla, Batlokwa, Bangwato and Batawana.

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BODANSA strikes gold with a handsome P45K windfall from Turnstar Holdings

27th February 2024

The Botswana DanceSport Association (BODANSA) has been graced with a financial boon of P45,000 courtesy of Turnstar Holdings. This generous endowment is earmarked for the illustrious Botswana International Dance Sport Grand Prix Championships, which are scheduled to animate Gaborone from Friday to Saturday.

At a media engagement held early today, BODANSA’s Marketing Maestro, Tiro Ntwayagae, shared that Turnstar Holdings Limited has bestowed a gift of P45,000 towards the grand spectacle.

“We are thrilled to announce that this backing will enable us to orchestrate a cultural soirée at the Game City Marque locale, a night brimming with cultural fervor set for March 1, 2024, from 6pm to the stroke of midnight.

This enchanting space will also serve as the battleground for the preliminaries of traditional dance ensembles—spanning the rhythmically rich Setapa to the euphoric beats of Sebirwa, the spirited Seperu, the heavenly Hosana, and more—in a competition folded into the Traditional Dance Groups Category. The ensemble that dances into the judges’ hearts will clinch a grand prize of P10,000,” elaborated Ntwayagae.

He further illuminated that the cultural eve would not only celebrate traditional melodies but also the fresh beats of contemporary dance variants including Hip Hop, Sbujwa, Amapiano, among others, in a dazzling display of modern dance mastery.

Moreover, these championships carry the prestigious recognition by the World DanceSport Federation as a qualifying round for the Breakdance category for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “This is a monumental opportunity for athletes to leap towards their Olympic dreams during one of the penultimate qualifiers,” underscored Ntwayagae.

Looking ahead to March 2, 2024, the festivities will propel into the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Arena for the championship’s climactic showdowns encompassing Breakdance, Latin, and Ballroom Dancing.

 

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Government of Botswana yet to sign, ratify the UN-CRPD

26th February 2024

In Botswana, a beacon of democracy in Africa, the right to participate in the political discourse is a cornerstone of its societal structure. It’s an avenue through which citizens shape the rules and systems that govern their everyday lives. Despite this, recent studies indicate that Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs) are notably absent from political dialogues and face substantial hurdles in exercising their democratic freedoms.

Research within the nation has uncovered that IWDs encounter difficulties in engaging fully with the political process, with a pronounced gap in activities beyond mere voting. The call for environments that are both accessible and welcoming to IWDs is loud, with one participant, who has a physical disability, spotlighting the absence of ramps at voting venues and the dire need for enhanced support to facilitate equitable involvement in the electoral process.

The challenges highlighted by the study participants pinpoint the structural and social obstacles that deter IWDs from participating wholly in democracy. The inaccessibility of voting facilities and the lack of special accommodations for people with disabilities are critical barriers. Those with more significant or intellectual disabilities face even steeper challenges, often feeling marginalized and detached from political engagement.

To surmount these obstacles, there is an urgent appeal for Botswana to stride towards more inclusive and accessible political stages for IWDs. This necessitates a committed effort from both the government and relevant entities to enforce laws and policies that protect the rights of IWDs to partake in the political framework. Enhancing awareness and understanding of the political landscape among IWDs, alongside integrating inclusive practices within political entities and governmental bodies, is crucial.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing an inclusive political environment, Botswana can live up to its democratic ideals, ensuring every citizen, regardless of ability, can have a substantive stake in the country’s political future.

 

 

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.

 

 

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