The Chairman of Wayei Chieftaincy Council, Gchiba Ditando has thrashed rumors that the Bayei tribe is divided on who should represent them at Ntlo ya Dikgosi (House of Chiefs).
Ditando made the statement in response to allegations that some tribesmen do not want the Council’s nominee, Chief Fish Ozoo to be their representative. The tribesmen are said to be of the view that Ozoo does not have the qualities to represent them well in such a high profile and influential forum.
Nonetheless, Ditando has dismissed such alleged fears as unfounded. In fact he said Ozoo’s name has been submitted before the Minister of Local Government and Rural development, Slumber Tsogwane for confirmation because Bayei tribe has chosen him as their chief. “Bayei are an independent tribe so we do not seek any permission from any tribe or anyone to come up with the name of someone who will represent us,” Ditando pointed out.
Clarifying as to how the tribe came up with the name of Chief Ozoo to be their representative, Ditando explained that 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. Ditando 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.
He therefore stated that the reason why they chose Chief Ozoo is that when they looked amongst the three families, they saw him as the best candidate as he possesses good leadership qualities and he understands very well the history and traditions of the Bayei. The Bayei chieftaincy was left vacant following the demise of Chief Shikati Calvin Kamanakao in 2003.
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 recognized as a tribe. Before his demise, Kamanakao fought for the recognition of his people as an independent tribe.
Some tribe’s men who are now opposing Ozoo’s appointment suggest that he should at least be appointed as regent to hold the fort on behalf of the late Kamanakao’s son until he is old enough to take up the responsibility.
Nonetheless, Ditando contended that, “as I said earlier, the chieftaincy of Bayei is not hereditary but if we see that the son of the late Shikati Kamanakao is fit and has all the leadership qualities we require from him to be our chief, we will give him a chance to be our paramount chief.”
Ozoo’s name was submitted for the second time in the form of a letter to the Minister after the first letter was allegedly turned down. According to Ditando, the Minister did not accept the initial nomination because he was of the view that procedure was not followed.
“The letter was not returned, immediately after the minister recognized the Bayei as a tribe we submitted the name of Chief Fish Ozoo to be our representative at Ntlo Ya Dikgosi but the minister advised us to go and follow the procedures stated on the Bogosi Act Section 6, subsection (1). We met at Gumare Main Kgotla which is our Headquarters as the Wayei Tribe on September 19 and we came up with Chief Ozoo’s name,” explained Ditando.
The said section 6 and subsection (1) of Bogosi Act prescribes that where there is a vacancy in the Bogosi of a tribe, either by reason of death, deposition, abdication or retirement it shall be the duty of the tribe assembled at the Kgotla under the chairmanship of the senior member of the tribe to designate the rightful heir to the Bogosi according to the customary law, or according to the established norm and practice of that tribe.
However Ditando maintained that the reason why they initially did not follow such procedure was because Bayei already knew who their paramount chief was and so they thought that there was no reason to assemble for that. But this action has allegedly left the tribe divided including those close to royalty. Some are not happy with the way the Wayei Chieftaincy Council is dealing with this issue as they say there was no transparency in the whole process.
“We are not happy because the Wayei Chieftainship Council does not take us seriously and does not consult us on issues that affect us as tribe. How can they come up with someone who is supposed to be our paramount chief without consulting us first? What criteria did they use to choose Chief Ozoo?” commented one of the tribe’s men.
Meanwhile, Ditando noted that, no one from the royal families has shown interest to lead the tribe.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.