The former legislators of Molepolole village in the Kweneng District, Daniel Kwelagobe and Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri have been accused of failing to bring ‘‘sound’’ developments to the village during their long stay in Parliament but instead promoted the spirit of hatred among the people.
Speakers at this year’s inaugural kgotla meeting by the village’s new Member of Parliament (MP), Mohammed Khan and Tlamelo Mmatli cried out for a better leadership that would unite the “torn tribe”.
Some residents such as Aobakwe Sekgwa alleged that the former political leaders did not treat electorates equally and warned the new elects to avoid repeating the same mistakes if they are to survive the next general elections.
“If you want to see our disdain, behave like gods and make people bow to your demands, promote factionalism and choose who you relate with and who not to,” Sekgwa advised the legislators.
Some royal members of the Bakwena tribe admitted that there was too much animosity in their midst and expressed their wish for unity.
“We are a torn tribe. For a very long time, we were taught a strategy to hate and not to trust each other. Our tribe is divided. Our tribe has been taught evil above anything else. Just like a traditional healer who gets murder lessons from another healer, he tests the strength of his lessons on the tutor and so you have mastered the hatred strategy and evicted the tutors,” Kgosi Keineetse Sebele rhetorically shared his feelings.
Yet another royal member, Kgosi Kgosikwena Sebele expressed his delight at the way Molepolole has voted in the last general elections. Kgosikwena recited a poem of approval and suggested that, “an army of ants laid in ambush and unceremoniously attacked and bitten the snapper and left him in shock.”
Molepolole voted against the ruling party legislators, Matlhabaphiri and Kwelagobe in the October general elections and replaced them with those of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). Kwelagobe, who holds the country’s longest serving member of Parliament record and was called “father of the house”, had a surprise defeat by the UDC’s Mmatli after forty-years of uninterrupted Parliament Service.
Since a kgotla is a meeting place that do not tolerate partisan politics, the people fell short of naming their victims.
Kgosi Kgosikwena Sebele and Keineetse Sebele are brothers and members of the royal clan. Kgosikwena served in the Molepolole customary court for many years including as a regent before he was appointed to head the customary court of appeal. He was brought down from the customary court of appeal throne in 2011 when he was charged with stock theft and slapped with a four-year jail sentence which he later appealed and won.
Before joining the tribal administration Kgosikwena was an active member of the opposition Botswana National Front, which is currently a group member of the UDC. Both Molepolole constituencies, Molepolole South and North has been won by UDC. In the 1970’s Kgosikwena challenged Kwelagobe and lost dismally.
Allegedly the rivalry ensued from then onwards such that the two could not agree on a simple initiative. During the Kgari and Kealeboga battle for chieftaincy at the beginning of the millennium, allegedly Kgwelagobe was on Kgari’s side and Kgosikwena on Kealeboga’s side.
After winning the marathon case before the court of law, Kgari III appointed Kgosikwena’s brother, Keineetse Sebele as his deputy nonetheless.
The slow developments which have been coming to the village has therefore been blamed on the rivalry between the tribal and political leadership and voting for a different party was the only hope for the people whose major concerns are bread and butter issues.
Many other speakers at the meeting worried about the decline pass rate at Kgari Sechele Senior secondary School, the long queues at local health posts, bad conditions of infrastructure and service at Sekgoma Memorial hospital including expensive surgical machines that have been lying idle for years due to lack of surgeons and doctors.
The people also worry about petty theft, dark streets, unreliable rainfall, limited ploughing utensils and having to go for a days without clean tap water. Some of the people asked the new legislators to address these issues instead.
“I sit in the Parliament Health Committee and I would do all I can to address problems at the Scottish Livingston Memorial Hospital. Are you aware that the government paid a whooping P70 Million to Bokamoso Private hospital in medical bills for heart disease patients! The patients were referred to the hospital from Princess Marina hospital and yet the machines for such procedures are lying idle in our hospital because we do not have doctors!” Khan spoke to the people.
Khan who won against the former assistant Minister of Health, Matlhabaphiri promised to help in the facilitation of negotiations between the Ministry of Health and heart surgeons in the near future.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.