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.
Government is currently sitting on 4 400 vacant posts that remain unfilled in the civil service. This is notwithstanding the high unemployment rate in Botswana which has been exacerbated by the recent outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Just before the burst of COVID-19, official data released by Statistics Botswana in January 2020, indicate that unemployment in Botswana has increased from 17.6 percent three years ago to 20.7 percent. “Unemployment rate went up by 3.1 percentage between the two periods, from 17.6 to 20.7 percent,” statistics point out.
Leading commercial bank, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), expects the central bank to sharpen its monetary policy knife and cut the Bank Rate twice in the last quarter of 2020.
The bank expects a 25 basis point (bps) in the beginning of the last quarter, which is next month, and another shed by the same bps in December, making a total of 50 bps cut in the last quarter. According to the bank’s researchers, the central bank is now holding on to 4.25 percent for the time being pending for more informed data on the economic climate.
An audit of the accounts and records for the supply of food rations to the institutions in the Northern Region for the financial year-ended 31 March 2019 was carried out. According to Auditor General’s report and observations, there are weaknesses and shortcomings that were somehow addressed to the Accounting Officer for comments.
Auditor General, Pulane Letebele indicated on the report that, across all depots in the region that there had been instances where food items were short for periods ranging from 1 to 7 months in the institutions for a variety of reasons, including absence of regular contracts and supplier failures. The success of this programme is dependent on regular and reliable availability of the supplies to achieve its objective, the report said.
There would be instances where food items were returned from the feeding centers to the depots for reasons of spoilage or any other cause. In these cases, instances had been noted where these returns were not supported by any documentation, which could lead to these items being lost without trace.
The report further stressed that large quantities of various food items valued at over P772 thousand from different depots were damaged by rodents, and written off.Included in the write off were 13 538 (340ml) cartons of milk valued at P75 745. In this connection, the Auditor General says it is important that the warehouses be maintained to a standard where they would not be infested by rodents and other pests.
Still in the Northern region, the report noted that there is an outstanding matter relating to the supply of stewed steak (283×3.1kg cans) to the Maun depot which was allegedly defective. The steak had been supplied by Botswana Meat Commission to the depot in November 2016.
In March 2017 part of the consignment was reported to the supplier as defective, and was to be replaced. Even as there was no agreement reached between the parties regarding replacement, in 51 October 2018 the items in question were disposed of by destruction. This disposal represented a loss as the whole consignment had been paid for, according to the report.
“In my view, the loss resulted directly from failure by the depot managers to deal with the matter immediately upon receipt of the consignment and detection of the defects. Audit inspections during visits to Selibe Phikwe, Maun, Shakawe, Ghanzi and Francistown depots had raised a number of observations on points of detail related to the maintenance of records, reconciliations of stocks and related matters, which I drew to the attention of the Accounting Officer for comments,” Letebele said in her report.
In the Southern region, a scrutiny of the records for the control of stocks of food items in the Southern Region had indicated intermittent shortages of the various items, principally Tsabana, Malutu, Sunflower Oil and Milk which was mainly due to absence of subsisting contracts for the supply of these items.
“The contract for the supply of Tsabana to all depots expired in September 2018 and was not replaced by a substantive contract. The supplier contracts for these stocks should be so managed that the expiry of one contract is immediately followed by the commencement of the next.”
Suppliers who had been contracted to supply foodstuffs had failed to do so and no timely action had been taken to redress the situation to ensure continuity of supply of the food items, the report noted.
In one case, the report highlighted that the supplier was to manufacture and supply 1 136 metric tonnes of Malutu for a 4-months period from March 2019 to June 2019, but had been unable to honour the obligation. The situation was relieved by inter-depot transfers, at additional cost in transportation and subsistence expenses.
In another case, the contract was for the supply of Sunflower Oil to Mabutsane, where the supplier had also failed to deliver. Examination of the Molepolole depot Food Issues Register had indicated a number of instances where food items consigned to the various feeding centres had been returned for a variety of reasons, including food item available; no storage space; and in other cases the whole consignments were returned, and reasons not stated.
This is an indication of lack of proper management and monitoring of the affairs of the depot, which could result in losses from frequent movements of the food items concerned.The maintenance of accounting records in the region, typically in Letlhakeng, Tsabong, and Mabutsane was less than satisfactory, according to Auditor General’s report.
In these depots a number of instances had been noted where receipts and issues had not been recorded over long periods, resulting in incorrect balances reflected in the accounting records. This is a serious weakness which could lead to or result in losses without trace or detection, and is a contravention of Supplies Regulations and Procedures, Letebele said.
Similarly, consignments of a total of 892 bags of Malutu and 3 bags of beans from Tsabong depot to different feeding centres had not been received in those centres, and are considered lost. These are also not reflected in the Statement of Losses in the Annual Statements of Accounts for the same periods.