The exiled Bakgatla paramount chief, Kgosi Kgafela II has proposed some radical reforms to his tribesmen who had visited Moruleng recently.
The self-exiled chief, while endorsing Kgosi Bana Sekai as his replacement this past week told the tribal leadership to implement certain radical reforms in his absence in a bid to instill discipline and pride within the tribe. Kgafela is said to have made it clear that he wants to make the tribe the envy of other tribes, by making it sovereign and disciplined.
Kgafela ordered his regiment, Mangana at a meeting last Saturday at Kgabutle, South Africa. The purpose of the meeting was to give the regiment an opportunity to present Kgosi Bana Sekai to Kgosi Kgafela II after the government decided to reinstate him as the deputy Kgosi. He will also represent Bakgatla at Ntlo ya Dikgosi.
“We went to present Kgosi Sekai and he accepted him of which we will be having a huge ceremony this Saturday (today). We will further tomorrow (Sunday) have another ceremony in Moruleng as part of our year ending ceremony where Sekai will be presented that side,” Mangana regiment leader, Moagi Molebatsi said. The meeting was attended by the regiment from Botswana, Kgafela, Kgosi Ramphothetu, Segale Lentswe, Lekoba Lentswe as well as Kgosi Bana Sekai.
Kgafela was happy about the good work done by his peers and promised to celebrate them in future. “Mophato should do something for the tribe and this is one of the achievements which will be our legacy. In short Mokgatla is happy for what we did by pushing government to re-instate Kgosi Sekai as our representative at Ntlo ya Dikgosi,” said Molebatsi who has been very involved in the matters affecting Kgosi Kgafela and the Botswana government.
REGIMENT TO RESUME FLOGGINGS
Another controversial subject that dominate at the meeting between the maverick Kgafela II and his regiment is the issue of floggings. Kgafela ordered his regiment to begin the infamous floggings that saw him flee to South Africa in 2012. He gave some to do list which the tribal leadership still working on. “We will continue to remove delinquents from Kgatleng. Zero tolerance of drugs and other illicit behaviors,” Molebatsi said before adding. “Re tloo letsa moretlwa kgabo, but it is not like we are shining about it we want to instill law in our tribe of which after some time others will bench mark here.”
The flogging of members of the public in Kgatleng which were carried out by Kgafela’s regiments, is the main reason why he exiled to Moruleng. However, this time around the regiment is aware of government’s position on the matter and “will follow all the necessary processes”. “This time around we will agree with government on the formula. Already we have been engaging the council through by-laws, Councillors and Members of Parliament and we are still in talks with them but soon we will be correcting Kgatleng.”
KGAFELA WANTS LAND RIGHTS
As is the aspiration of Batlokwa in Tlokweng, Bakgatla also want a land quota system in which the indigenous community should be given preferable treatment. During discussions with Kgafela last Saturday, a decision was taken to audit the Bakgatla land before confronting the government. “The land issue is a concern to us. Our land is stolen from us, we wish what Batlokwa pleaded for could happen even here, beng-gae should be considered first rather than outsiders getting the land at the expense of the locals,” Molebatsi stressed.
On land issues, the government appears to be in total control through Land Boards, however Bakgatla believe that it is time they wake up as their land is continuously being taken away from them, they argue that what compound their situation further is the fact that they are in close proximity to the capital city which is expanding in their direction.
Molebatsi was quoted cautioning government on mismanagement of land saying in future it could cause conflicts, which could plunge the country into civil unrest. He said the implementation of developments by Government should not be at the expense of Bakgatla, whose land is expropriated by the state and sold off to foreigners. Developments in Kgatleng should be done to benefit the tribe, he emphasized.
BAKGATLA TO TELL KHAMA ALL IN FEBRUARY
Kgafela was also informed his audience at the meeting that President Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama will bid his tribe farewell on the 15th of February. He indicated that the meeting will be tell-all from Bakgatla leadership to Khama who is somehow regarded as the monster who scared their Kgosi away. “We will advise the President on a number of issues he did not handle well during his reign and we will advise him accordingly on how he could have managed them,” the soft spoken Molebatsi said on Wednesday evening.
He however could not be drawn into discussing what the President did not handle well. Asked whether they are negotiating with Khama for Kgafela to return, he said; “Mokgatla and President are talking at personal level and it is not like he hates him (Khama) things will normalize,” he diplomatically said. The tensions between Bakgatla and government escalated in 2012 with a number of criminal charges laid against Kgafela and some of his tribesmen. He later fled to South Africa and government took a decision to de-recognize him as Bakgatla Kgosi.
In a classic and shocking case of disgrace and dishonour to this country, the law enforcement agencies are currently struggling to cover up a damaging and humiliating scandal of having conspired to forge the signature of a Palapye Chief Magistrate, Rebecca Motsamai in an unlawful acquisition of the much-publicised 2019 warrant of arrest against Isaac Kgosi, the former director of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS).
The cloak-and-dagger arrest was led by the DIS director, Brigadier Peter Magosi supported by the Botswana Police, Botswana Defence Force (BDF), with the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) which accused Kgosi of tax evasion, in the backseat.
Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) constituent members are struggling to reach an agreement over the allocation of wards for the imminent ward by-elections across the country.
Despite a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and Alliance for Progressives (AP) are said to be active, but the nitty-gritties are far from being settled.
The eight bye-elections will be a precursor of a somewhat delayed finalisation of the brittle MoU. The three parties want to draw a plan on how and who will contest in each of the available wards.
This publication has gathered that the negotiations will not be a run off the mill because there is already an impasse between the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which is a UDC constituent and AP (currently negotiating to join umbrella).
The by-elections joint committee met last week at Cresta President Hotel in a bid to finalise allocation but nothing tangible came out of the gathering, sources say.
The cause of the stalemate according to those close to events, is the Metsimotlhabe Ward which the two parties have set their eyes on.
In 2019, he ward was won by Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Andrew Sebobi who unfortunately died in a tragic accident in February last year.
Sebobi had convincingly won by 1 109 votes in the last elections; and was trailed by Sephuthi Thelo of the UDC trailed him with 631 votes; while Alliance for Progressives’ Innocent Moamogwe got 371 votes.
Thelo is a BCP candidate and as per UDC norm, incumbency prevails meaning that the BCP will contest since they were runners up. On the other hand, AP has also raised its hand for the same.
“AP asked for it on the basis that they have a good candidate but BCP did not agree to that request also arguing they have a better contestant,” one UDC member confided to this publication.
Notwithstanding Metsimotlhabe Ward squabble, it is said the by-election talks are almost a done deal, with Botswana National Front (BNF) tipped to take Boseja South ward in Mochudi East constituency. Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) will be awarded Tamasane Ward in Lerala/Maunatlala constituency, sources say.
“But the agreement has to be closed by National Executive Committee (NEC),” emphasized the informant.
The NEC is said to have been cautioned not to back the wrong horse but rather rate with reason and facts.
UDC President, Duma Boko has told this publication that, “allocation is complete with two wards already awarded but with only one yet to be finalized,” he could not dwell into much details as to which party got what and the reasons for the delay in finalisation.
Chairperson of the by-elections committee, Dr. Phenyo Butale responded to this publication regarding the matter: “As AP we contested and as you may be aware we signed the MoU with UDC and BPF to collaborate on bye-elections. The opposition candidate for all bye-elections will be agreed by these parties and that process is still ongoing,” he said when asked if AP is interested on the ward and how far with the talks on bye-elections.
Butale, a former Gaborone Central Member of Parliament, who is also AP Secretary General continued to say, “As the chairperson of the bye-elections committee we are still seized with that matter. We should also do some consultations with the local structures. Once the process is complete we will issue a notice for now we cannot talk about the other two while the other is still pending the other one”.
Butale further clarified: “There is no such thing as AP and BCP not in agreement. It is an issue of signatories discussing and determining the opposition candidates across the three wards.”
Apart from the three wards, there are five more council wards that UDC is yet to allocate to cooperating partners.
FROM PALAPYE MEET: BPP CAUTION NEC MEMBERS
With the UDC cheerful from last weekend’s meeting in Palapye, the meeting however was very tense on the side of both BCP and BNF, with only BPP flexing its muscle and even lashing out.
BCP going into the meeting, had promised to ask difficult questions to the UDC NEC.
BCP VP and also acting Secretary General, Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, presented their qualms which were addressed by UDC Chairperson Motlatsi Molapisi, informants say.
It is said Molapisi is fed up and concerned by some UDC members especially those in the NEC who ‘wash party’s dirty linen in public’.
Insiders say the veteran politician cautioned the NEC members that they “will not expel any party but individuals who tarnish the image of the UDC.”
It is not the first time BPP play a paternalistic role as it once expressed its discontent with BCP in 2020, saying it should never wash UDC linen in public.
At first it is said, BPP, the oldest political formation in Botswana, claims disappointment on BCP stance that UDC should be democratised especially by sharing their stand with the media. Again, BPP was not happy with BCP leader Dumelang Saleshando’s decision to air his personal views on social media regarding the merger of UDC party.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe, has of late been dousing raging fires from various quarters of society following the infiltration of the police fingerprint system by the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS), WeekendPost has learnt.
Fresh information gleaned from a number of impeccable sources, points to a pitiable working relationship between the two state organs. Cause of concern is the DIS continuous big brother role to an extent that it is now interfering with other institutions’ established mandates.
BPS which works closely with the DIS has been left exasperated by the works of the institution formed in 2008. It is said, the DIS through its Information Technology (IT) experts in collusion with some at BPS forensics department managed to infiltrate the Fingerprint system.
The infiltration, according to those in the know, was for the DIS to “teach a lesson” to some who are on their radar. It is said the DIS is playing and fighting dirty to win the fights they have lost before.
By managing to hack the police finger print system, a number of renowned businessmen and other politically exposed persons found their fingers in the system. What surprised the victims is the fact that they have never been charged of any wrongdoing by the police and they were left reeling in shock to learn that their fingers are on the data-base of criminals.
In fact, some of those who their fingerprints were falsely included in the records of those on the wrong side of law learnt later when other errands demanded their fingerprints.
“We learnt later when we had to submit and buy some documents and we were very shocked,” one politician who is also a businessman confided to this publication this week.
“We then learn that there are some fabricated criminality recorded for us, as to when did we commit those remained secret to the police, but then we had to engage our lawyers on the matter and that is when we were cleared,” said the politician-cum- tenderpreneur.
The lawyers have confirmed engaging the police and that the matters were settled in a gentlemen’s agreement and concluded.
All these happened behind the scenes with the police top brass oblivious only to be confronted by the irked lot, police sources also add. The victimized group who most of them have been fighting lengthy battles with the DIS read malice and did not blink when it was revealed that these were done by the DIS.
“And it was clear that they (DIS) are the ones in this dirty war which we don’t understand. Remember when we sue, it will be the Police at the courts not the DIS and that is why we agreed to a ceasefire more so they also requested that be kept under carpet,” said the victim.
Nonetheless, the Police through its spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, briefly said: “we do not have any system that has been hacked.” On the other hand DIS mouthpiece Edward Robert was not in office this week to comment on the matter.
Reports however say DIS boss, Peter Magosi, who most of the victims accuse of the job, is said to have met his police counterpart Makgophe to put the matter to bed.
COVID-19 RAVAGES POLICE
As frontline workers, Police have not escaped the wrath of Covid-19. Already the numbers of those infected has reached the highest of high and they suggest that they be priorities on vaccine rollout.
“Our job is complicated, firstly we arrest including those who are non-compliant to Covid protocols and we go to accidents and many more. These put us at risk and it seems our superiors are not bothered,” said one police officer this week.
The cops further complain about that working spaces are small, as such expose them to contact the virus.
“Some tests positive and go for quarantine while the rest of the unit will be left without even test carried out. If at all the bosses are serious all the police officers should every now and then be subjected to testing or else we will be no more because of the virus,” added another officer based in Gaborone.
The government has since placed teachers on the priority list for the vaccines, it remains to be seen whether the police, who also man road blocks, will be considered.
“But our bosses should convince the country leadership about this, if not then we are doomed,” concluded a more senior officer.