Recent reports that Kgosi Kgafela’s relations with the government of Botswana have almost normalised may have little to no truth to them at all, WeekendPost can reveal. As things stand, reconciliation talks between the government and Kgafela have taken a new twist and could throw the Bakgatla royal family into disarray.
The Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Kgosikgolo made suggestions that his relations with government of Botswana have almost normalised recently when giving evidence during an ongoing Commission of Inquiry into Bakgatla dealings in Rustenburg. Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama was also quoted recently during a kgotla meeting in Kgatleng telling the Bakgatla tribesmen that they should tell their kgosi to come back home.
But deductions from last Sunday meeting addressed by Kgosi Kgafela in Moruleng, South Africa, which was attended by hundreds of Bakgatla from Mochudi, could shed new light into the merry-go-round debacle. The kgotla meeting was followed by a closed session meeting comprising Kgosi Kgafela; his brothers, Bakgatla and Mmusi; uncles, Kgosi Segale Linchwe, Ramono Linchwe, and Bana Sekai who only joined it towards the end.
This publication is reliably informed that Kgosi Kgafela is worried that the government is playing hide and seek after promising to withdraw all the criminal charges against him. Kgafela’s sheet include 17 charges of floggings and the extradition application against him. It is understood that he has since assigned his brothers and some of his uncles in Botswana to intervene on the matter to push government to honour its promises.
Kgosi Kgafela was overheard by the WeekendPost team which had sneaked into the house where the meeting was held, saying, “I am not fighting them. All I want is proper laws that favour everyone. They must amend this constitution.” And later in the same meeting he said this words to one of his younger brothers, Mmusi, “Akere wena you are a BDP and you say you always meet permanent secretaries…talk to them then.”
Some of those close to the case are of the view that Kgosi Kgafela is sacrificing morafe because of his own personal challenges. Recently, sources say, he intercepted Kgosi Sekai from being appointed to Ntlo ya Dikgosi (NYD) instructing that he remain in his position as deputy chief. But Kgosi Kgafela had initially instructed the government to appoint kgosi Sekai. Sekai was supposed to be announced as Bakgatla representative by President Khama before he left office of the Presidency, but this was scuttled by Kgafela after he changed his mind at the last minute.
It is alleged that Kgosi Kgafela’s greatest fear is that, should Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela have a representative in NYD, the Kgatleng chieftainship woes would be seen to have been solved and he on the other hand would be forgotten or his legal issues not addressed to finality. “He wants the government to deal with the issues simultaneously. Kgosi Kgafela doesn’t know what he wants. Sometimes he would tell us he doesn’t want anything to do with Botswana issues and the next day he would say a different thing,” a source close to the developments said.
“Of recent, he is so much worried. At first it was like the government was forcing him to come here, but nowadays it is him after the government.” Kgosi Sekai is said to have pleaded with Kgosi Kgafela to allow him to go to Ntlo ya Dikgosi and promised that he would use the position to convince the leadership to speed up the paramount chief’s case. On the other hand Sekai is accused of “hoping” that Kgafela’s case is not resolved so that he continues on the acting capacity.
The tension between the two (Kgafela and Sekai) was visible at weekend meeting at Moruleng. Initially Sekai was told he would welcome Kgafela as usual, only for him to end up giving a report about Kgatleng (Mochudi) instead. Sekai could not hide his disappointment and he ventilated his misgivings before the crowd, “I am not happy at the way things are being done. I was told I would as always welcome Kgabo, but the program was changed without notifying me. I am only told now that I should not welcome Kgabo but make a report about Mochudi. Next time don’t do this,” he said.
Kgosi Sekai then told the gathering that he was running the whole tribe solo. He said no one was assisting him and has even decided to ask for assistance from members of the tribe to tell him their opinions about his tribe’s herdsmen. “Those who are rated low, I will definitely fire them because I don’t want the government to feel I am useless. Yes, I will use my powers given by the government and fire them because they are not helping me.”
Kgosi Kgafela was then welcomed by kgosi Mothibe Linchwe. And when he took the stand, Kgafela made comments on remarks by other speakers who came before him except Sekai’s. The fuss also extended to the closed session meeting where other members of the royal family drove to Ramóno’s place. The WeekendPost team followed the cars to the homestead and all royal family members were present including Sekai’s juniors but Sekai was not among them.
The meeting was held in the balcony upstairs, where upon this team remained downstairs for almost an hour. They probably thought the team was part of them. It was after an hour that the protocol men and women asked the Weekend Post team to vacate their yard. And at the time, Sekai was still not there.
Sekai is said to have come in later when the meeting was almost over as he wanted to consult Kgosi Kgafela on other issues affecting Bakgatla-ba-ga-Kgafela in Botswana. Vice President Slumber Tsogwane declined to comment on the issue, saying it is not the right time to make any comments about it.
High Commissioner of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Botswana, His Excellency Umar Zainab Salisu, has challenged President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi to move swiftly and lobby Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Billionaire, Aliko Dangote to invest in Botswana.
Speaking during a meeting with President Masisi at Office of President on Thursday Zainab Salisu said Dangote has expressed massive interest in setting up billion dollar industries in Botswana. “We have a lot of investors who wish to come and invest in Botswana , when we look at Botswana we don’t see Botswana itself , but we are lured by its geographic location , being in the centre of Southern Africa presents a good opportunity for strategic penetration into other markets of the region,” said Salisu.
As murder cases and violent incidents involving couples and or lovers continue to be recorded daily, Specially Elected Member of Parliament, Dr Unity Dow has called for more funding of non-governmental organizations and accelerated action from government to come up with laws that could inhibit would-be perpetrators of crimes related to Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Just after Dr Dow had deposited her views on this subject with this reporter, a young man in Molepolole opened fire on a married woman he was having an affair with; and ended her life instantly. While it is this heinous cases that get projected to the public space, the former minister argues that the secrecy culture is keeping other real GBV cases under wraps in many spaces in the country.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said there is GBV all the time in all kinds of places. “We have become accustomed to stories of rapes, marital rapes, defilement of children, beatings and psychological violence and even killings,” she said.
Gender-based violence is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality, Dow is worried that there is absolutely no social punishment for perpetrators; they will continue to have the same friends, jobs, wives, homes, as before. Yet another factor, she said, is that there is little or no “justice” for victims of GBV.
The renowned activist said justice for GBV victims is not just the jailing of the perpetrator. “Justice for victims means an agile, victim-friendly, accessible (time, money and procedures) and restorative justice system.”
Asked what could be leading to a spike in Gender Based Violence cases or incidents, she observed that there is no one factor to which this spike can be attributed. “The most obvious factor is stress as a result of economic distress and or poverty. Poverty makes one vulnerable and open to compromises that they would otherwise not make. For perpetrators with anger management issues, economic stress leads to lashing out to those closest to them. Another factor is the disintegration of families and family values,” she opined.
According to Dow, no government anywhere in the world is doing enough, period. “We know the places and spaces where women and girls are unsafe. We know the challenges they face in their attempts to exit those spaces and places.” The former Judge of the High Court said GBV undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in the culture of silence.
Asked what could be done to arrest GBV cases, Dow said it is critical to involve and fund civil society organizations. She observed that much of the progress done in the area of women’s human rights was during the time when Botswana had strong and funded civil society organizations.
“The funding dried up when Botswana was declared a middle-income country but unfortunately external funding was not replaced by local funding,” she acknowledged.
Further Dow said relevant government institutions must be funded and strengthened.
“Thirdly, create a society in which it is not okay to humiliate, rape, beat or kill women. You create this by responding to GBV the same way we have responded to livestock theft. We need to create agile mechanisms that hear cases quickly and allow for the removal of suspected perpetrators from their homes, work places, boards, committees, etc.”
The former Minister said the much anticipated Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Gender Based Violence will have its work cut out for it. According to Dow, GBV is not just a justice issue, it’s not just a gender issue, but rather an issue that cuts across health, education, labour, economic, housing and politics. “As long as any one believes it is someone else’s problem, we will all have the problem,” she said.
In her view, Dow said every work, educational and other place must have a GBV Policy and/or Code of Conduct. “It is important that we acknowledge that the majority of men are law-abiding. The problem is their silence, in the face of injustice,” she observed.
The State has chosen to ignore intents by kingpins in the P100 billion scandal to sue for a combined P85 million as tables turn against the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the matter.
Key players in the matter; the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and Bank of Botswana (BoB) have eroded the prospects of success following the duo’s institutions’ appearance before parliamentary committees recently.