Headstrong Bakgatla-ba-ga-Kgafela Chief, Kgafela Kgafela II may get his way and soon return to Botswana to take over the chieftaincy, if ongoing negotiations with the Office of the President conclude successfully. Government informed his tribe in Mochudi this week that Kgafela II is remorseful and is engaging President Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama.
In a development which signalled government’s measured intention deal with the matter to finality, minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane travelled to the Bakgatla capital of Mochudi to brief the tribe about the fate of its chief.
In recognition of issues that arose during the interaction of Bakgatla and the Presidential Task team led by Kgosi Malope II of Bangwaketse, minister Tsogwane took time to explain the bottlenecks around the withdrawal of de-recognition notice – which is one of the demands of morafe.
He said Government is reliably informed that Kgosi Kgafela II has taken South African citizenship. Tsogwane said since Botswana Laws do not allow dual citizenship, the issue of de-recognizing Kgosi Kgafela II can only be considered if he decides to relocate back to Botswana and re-apply for Botswana citizenship.
With Botswana not permitting dual citizenship, it remains to be seen if Kgosi Kgafela II, will be willing to renounce his South African citizenship in order to be recognised again as Bakgatla chief.
This publication has established that the ongoing negotiations between President Khama and Kgosi Kgafela hinge on the latter’s dual citizenship, a move which could see the Bakgatla chief returning home on his terms.
On the subject of Withdrawal of criminal charges and warrant of arrest for Kgosi Kgafela II, Tsogwane said: “the criminal charges against Kgosi Kgafela II are a matter between the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the accused (Kgosi Kgafela II). The current position is that the DPP has already proceeded to prosecute after consulting the Attorney General. Therefore doors for any consultation are already closed. An option that remains in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act is for Kgafela himself to reconcile with the complainants.”
Speaking directly to the issue of reconciliation between Bakgatla and Government, the minister said lately Kgosi Kgafela II has shown remorse and willingness to reconcile with Government through a letter to the President delivered by Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi of Bafokeng. He said going forward Government will engage Kgosi Kgafela II on the matter.
According Tsogwane, the Office of President has commenced negotiations with the Bakgatla chief with regards to his return to his native country. Kgafela II’s return to Botswana however will happen under conditions that he is recognised as the chief of Bakgatla, with Tsogwane admitting that government had disregarded important clauses in de-recognising the Bakgatla chief.
The negotiations were instigated by Kgosi Kgafela II who had sent a letter delivered by Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi of Bafokeng in South Africa detailing conditions for his (Kgafela) return to Botswana as a recognised chief of the tribe.
Tsogwane was cagey on revealing the contents of the letter or communication between the two parties but affirmed that there is an ongoing exchange of letters between President Khama’s office and Kgosi Kgafela II.
The negotiations between Kgafela II and Office of the President have been augmented by those of a committee appointed by Bakgatla last year to look into the matter.
The downhill Kgotla, which a few years ago at the turn of events, was a no go area for cabinet Ministers was jam-packed as the tribe, which has been without a chief for almost five years descended to the kgotla to get first-hand the affairs about their chief who has been in self exile in neighbouring South Africa since 2012.
Tsogwane inherited destruction and hate problems between Bakgatla tribe and government, the architects of the riddle being his predecessors Lebonaamang Mokalake and Peter Siele.
Kgafela II, who was installed as Bakgatla chief in 2008, left the country in 2012, following a series of battles with government over a number of issues. He had been de-recognised by then Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mokalake at the time of his departure to South Africa, renouncing the Botswana citizenship in the process, after acquiring South African citizenship.
In a letter written to then Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Ramadeluka Seretse, Kgafela II stated in the letter that; “ I am a King who rules over a tribe in two countries.
That circumstance is not of our own doing but a product of colonialism. The fact of the matter is that I have settled in South Africa permanently as a South Africa citizen. What you do with my citizenship of Botswana is up to you, since you now own the country as a family.”
In his previous battles with government, Kgafela II had challenged the constitution of Botswana wanting it to be set aside as he contended that it was fraudulently adopted.
In South Africa, Kgafela II, where he emerged victorious again, was fighting an even tougher battle where his legitimacy as a ruler of Bakgatla in Moruleng was being questioned by one Nyalala Pilane who had been a regent since 1996. Since Kgafela II’s victory Nyalala has been dethroned with his replacement to be installed soon.
Government, upon the expiry of his deputy and Uncle, Bana Sekai Linchwe’s contract, refused to renew it citing that he had reached retirement age. This created another impasse since the Bogosi Act entitled only the Bakgatla chief to appoint his deputy.
In the absence of Kgafela II, Bakgatla have remained without a chief. The royal house has also been divided, with Kgosi Mothibe Linchwe calling for a truce and peace among those involved and restoration of Sekai to his position as the tribe’s deputy chief.
THE KGOTLA MEETING
At the Kgotla meeting, a subservient Tsogwane listened as the tribe demanded that Kgafela’s return should be under the condition that he is not going to be jailed and that the case before the courts involving him and the state is dropped. The tribesmen also want Sekai reinstated in his position as deputy chief with immediate effect.
Tsogwane however, remarked that government would not interfere with the judicial process, and noted that Kgabo, the Bakgatla Chief, is conversant with the law as a lawyer and would not do anything to interfere with the duties of the court.
“If there is need for forgiveness, such could be done after the courts have finished doing their work. At the moment the matter before the courts is beyond the Office of the President or President [Ian Khama]’s authority and we cannot decide on it,” he said.
Tsogwane said the warrant of arrest issued against Kgafela II does not mean that the chief is guilty and would be arrested as he noted that the Bakgatla chief need only appear before the court as demanded.
The Bakgatla’s conundrum resulted in government and Bakgatla becoming sworn enemies, the condition which did not even help the ruling party in the last general elections as the party lost both seats to opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Still at the meeting, Member of Parliament for Mochudi East Isaac Davids said the decision to derecognize Kgafela II was not well thought out, and blames the government for the impasse which the tribe finds itself in, having gone five years without chief.
“It was an angry decision, and going forward do not make decisions when you are angry,” he quipped.
Davids said that Kgafela II having a case before the courts was besides the point and what mattered most, he expressed, was for Bakgatla to get their chief back.
Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms. “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.
“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.
“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.
“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”
Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner. He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.
Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.
Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.
The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).
“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.
“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”
Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.
From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.
“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.
“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”
In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.
TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.
“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.
“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”
Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.
“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.
“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”
Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.
Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.
According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.
“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.
According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).
“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.
“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”
The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.
“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.
“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”
Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.
The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.
This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.