Connect with us

Bangwaketse, Bahurutshe in leopard skin brawl

A conceivable tribal row may emerge between Bahurutshe of Manyana village and Bangwaketse as the Bahurutshe last week visited the latter at their main kgotla in Kanye to inform them of their intention to wrap Kgosi Curty Kebinatshwene Mosielele with a “leopard skin” and crown him as kgosi.

Mosielele was officially installed as a Kgosi in 2010 taking over from his father, Mareko Mark Mosielele who became unwell and passed on in 2015. Indications suggest that only the coronations of paramount chiefs are associated with a leopard skin or a lion (like the Bangwato) which symbolises “dominance” in terms of the geographical location. Manyana village falls under Ga-Ngwaketse territory and Kgosi Malope Gaseitsiwe II has the authority and power to address a kgotla gathering at the village.  

Subsequent to receiving news that Bahurutshe want to adorn their Kgosi with a leopard skin, Malope II then consulted with his tribesmen of the development. He then moved on swiftly to call a lebatla on Wednesday last week in which the Bahurutshe elders informed the tribe that in August later this year they will undertake the planned task of gilding Kgosi Mosielele with a leopard skin.

Information further reaching this publication suggests that Mosielele does not necessarily harbour ambitions of being a Paramount Chief displacing Malope II, instead, it is understood that his desires are just “to wear” a leopard skin when installed as a Kgosi, but still under Malope II.  

When reached for comment las week Friday, Malope confirmed to this publication of the said lebatla but would not be drawn into further details. He subsequently referred this reporter to village elders whom, owing to their experience and age and, as his deputies are graced with historical information on the matter.

It is understood that at the said Bangwaketse lebatla, the old folks narrated their stories and what they know as far as bogosi and the wrapping with leopard skin is concerned. It is said that some Bangwaketse felt it was “improper” for Kgosi Mosielele to wear a leopard skin.
They mentioned that, even his father, Mareko Mosielele was not crowned through the use of a leopard skin during his coronation in 1952.

However on his part, Mosielele told WeekendPost that indeed, as a tribe, they went to Kanye kgotlakgolo (main kgotla) to “inform” them that in August later this year Bahurutshe will be undertaking an official installation of their kgosi – with a leopard skin. He said they were doing this out of respect for Bangwaketse, and stressed that he highly respects Malope II particularly because they stay in his territory of Ga-Ngwaketse.

“The crux of the matter is, as Bahurutshe, we are in the zone of Bangwaketse. But we are not Bangwaketse. Our totem is a baboon (tshwene) but theirs is a crocodile (kwena). Our cultural customs and practices also differ,” Mosielele hinted to this publication.
According to the Manyana Kgosi, their cultural tradition dictates that a kgosi undergoes a crowning through wearing of a leopard skin. To justify his point, he gave an example that his late father Mareko Mosielele went through the same (wearing a leopard skin) when he was officially installed.

He added that he was then installed by his uncles together with Kgosi Bathoen Gaseitsiwe II who was Bangwaketse paramount chief during the time. “So in short, through my planned installation with a leopard skin, we are doing what our tradition dictates, Bahurutshe believe vehemently that this task should proceed and nothing will stop it, not even the Bangwaketse,” Mosielele emphasised.

Meanwhile, a dikgosi historical independent Professor at the University of Botswana (UB) who preferred anonymity due to private reasons, told WeekendPost that the issue is a conflict particularly because Manyana village is part of Ga-Ngwaketse zone in terms of geographic setting. Customary law dictates that within a geographical location there should be one Kgosi-Kgolo who can only undergo crowning by being wrapped with a leopard skin, the academic highlighted.

According to the UB Professor, Mosielele, if anything, can be installed with a leopard skin only at his other subjects’ location at Lehurutshe village, in South Africa and not in the Ngwaketse terrain. “He has the power to wear the leopard skin but can only do so at Lehurutshe. Mosielele is senior chief in the family so he can even rule from South Africa if he so wishes just like Kgosikgolo Kgafela of Bakgatla is doing from Moruleng.”

The UB lecturer maintained that he believes the issue could have been handled in a delicate manner as it opens up to an unnecessary stand-off between the two tribes (Bangwaketse and Bahurutshe). “Mosielele and Malope are friends. They are relatively young and new chiefs and I believe Mosielele did not act in a manner aimed at protecting himself and his senior chief, Malope,” he opined.

The independent analyst pointed out that, it was also unsuitable for Mosielele to send his village elders to Kanye to “inform” as opposed to consulting Bangwaketse. He added: “regardless of his intention (Mosielele) however, leopard skin does not give him any increased powers.”

The UB lecturer then continued to point out that at this stage, it will be difficult for Mosielele to rescind from the move as it would seem like a defeat. “Equally if he proceeds while Bangwaketse are unsettled with the development, he said, it may lead to a tribalistic combat and therefore it is a potentially explosive tribal skirmish that may get out of hand if not handled with care,” noted the UB professor.

Continue Reading


Batswana owe banks P79 billion

27th March 2023

The Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame, has disclosed that the total bank credit extended by commercial banks amounted to P79 billion, out of which P53.4 billion was retail loans and advances to households.

Parliament was informed this week in response to a question by the Member of Parliament for Selibe-Phikwe West and Leader of Opposition (LOO), Dithapelo Keorapetse.

“As at 31st December 2022, loans and other advances extended to households by banks constituted the largest share of bank-lending at 67.6 percent, the majority of which was unsecured personal loans at P36.2 billion (67.8%),” said Serame.

She added that the total household Debt to GDP ratio was 21.9%, while the total private business credit to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio was 10.8%.

On the other hand, it was noted that outstanding mortgage loans extended to households were P14.2 billion (26.6% of household debt) or 5.9% of GDP. Overall, total bank credit as a ratio of GDP stood at 32.7 percent.

It was acknowledged that there are 10 deposit-taking banks in the country, that is, nine commercial banks and one statutory bank (Botswana Savings Bank). This statistics excludes the National Development Bank (NDB), which is a development finance institution. The nine commercial banks include an indigenous bank, Botswana Building Society Bank Limited (BBSBL), which was issued with a commercial banking license by the Bank of Botswana in October 2022.

Still in December 2022, it was recorded that there were 376 non-bank lenders in Botswana consisting of 246 micro lenders, 66 finance companies, three leasing companies and 61 registered pawnshops.

According to Minister Serame, the loan book value representing the principal amount lent by these entities to individuals and to small, medium and micro Enterprises (SMMEs) is collated by the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), which at 31st of December 2021, the loan book values were P5.6 billion for micro lenders, P1.6 billion for finance companies, P225 million for leasing companies and P14 million for pawnshops.

Government policy is that price control is not effective or desirable, and, as such, interest rates are not regulated. Non-regulation may, among other things, result in an increase in non-interest rate fees and commissions, reduced price transparency, lower credit supply and loan approval rates.

“It is important to note that, from a macroeconomic perspective, household debt in Botswana is neither a pandemic nor considered to be excessive. Indeed, the Bank of Botswana’s periodic and continuous assessments of household debt, including through the annual Household Indebtedness Surveys, suggest moderate household indebtedness and therefore, is of no apparent risk to the safety and soundness of the domestic financial system,” said Serame.

She also alluded this assessment is validated by the recently concluded Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) on Botswana undertaken by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.

Keorapetse however rebuked the issue of debt not being excessive and noted the Minister thinks it’s fine for Batswana to be debt burdened in a way that their debts diminishes their quality of life.

“A significant portion of Batswana’s salaries go to servicing debts and because she doesn’t see this as a challenge, there can never be any intervention from her side. There is no price regulation on interest, which can go up to 30%+ a month.  Since President Masisi ascended to the high office in 2018, 2 384 Batswana were put in prison for failure to pay debts, that is 467 Batswana every year. So, for us, debt problems are big and concerning,” said Keorapetse.

He said they are worried because Batswana are drowning in debts because of relative poverty, slave wages and unemployment/underemployment, they buy basic needs and services with borrowed money and noted predatory and unethical lending has become a major problem in Botswana’s financial sector.

Continue Reading


How to fleece P14 million from Chinese investor

27th March 2023

The modus operandi of how five men allegedly swindled a Chinese national P14 million last week continue to unravel. Highly placed sources from the intelligence, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) revealed to this publication how the whole scam was concocted.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading


ENVIRONMENT ISSUES: Masisi asks Virginia for help

24th March 2023

President Mokgweetsi Masisi says the issue of sustainable natural resources management has always been an important part of Botswana’s national development agenda.

Masisi was speaking this week on the occasion of a public lecture at Virginia Polytechnic, under theme, “Merging Conservation, Democracy and Sustainable Development in Botswana.”

Botswana, according to Masisi, holds the view that the environment is fragile and as such, must be managed and given the utmost protection to enable the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“It is necessary that we engage one another in the interchange of ideas, perspectives, visualizations of social futures, and considerations of possible strategies and courses of action for sustainable development,” said Masisi.

On the other hand, dialogue, in the form of rigorous democratic discourse among stakeholders presents another basis for reconfiguring how people act on their environments, with a view to conserving its resources that “we require to meet our socio-economic development needs on a sustainable basis,” Masisi told attendees at the public lecture.

He said government has a keen interest in understanding the epidemiology and ecology of diseases of both domestic and wild animals. “It is our national interest to forestall the dire consequences of animal diseases on our communities livelihoods.”

President Masisi hoped that both Botswana and Virginia could help each other in curbing contagious diseases of wildlife.

“We believe that Virginia Tech can reasonably share their experiences, research insights and advances in veterinary sciences and medicines, to help us build capacity for knowledge creation and improve efforts of managing and containing contagious diseases of wildlife. The ground is fertile for entering into such a mutually beneficial partnership.”

When explaining environmental issues further, Masisi said efforts of conservation and sustainable development might at times be hampered by the emergence and recurrence of diseases when pathogens mutate and take host of more than one species.

“Water pollution also kills aquatic life, such as fish, which is one of humanity’s much deserved sources of food. In this regard, One Health Approach imposes ecological responsibility upon all of us to care for the environment and the bio-diversity therein.”

He said the production and use of animal vaccines is an important space and tool for conservation, particularly to deal with trans-border animal diseases.

“In Botswana, our 43-year-old national premier pharmaceutical institution called Botswana Vaccine Institute has played its role well. Through its successful production of highly efficacious Foot and Mouth vaccines, the country is able to contain this disease as well as supply vaccines to other countries in the sub-region.:

He has however declared that there is need for more help, saying “We need more capacitation to deal with and contain other types of microbial that affect both animals and human health.”

Continue Reading