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KGOSI SEKGOMA LETSHOLATHEBE (PART 2)

Jeff Ramsay
BUILDERS OF BOTSWANA
 
We left off by noting that in the months immediately preceding Sekgoma aLetsholathebe (1873-1914) controversial installation as Kgosi the core area of the Gatawana kingdom was declared by a British Order-in-Council to be part of the Bechuanaland Protectorate. The Batawana had not been directly consulted about this development, which was rather the outcome of Anglo-German negotiations carried out in Berlin.  
 
The 1890 Proclamation was not, however, immediately accompanied by the arrival of any British officials. This only occurred in 1894, as a result of Kgosi Sekgoma’s 1893 expedition up the Okavango into Angola, which took him through territories then claimed by the Germans as well as Portuguese.
 
For what turned out to be his last major military expedition, Sekgoma mobilised a relatively small force consisting of a few hundred horsemen all armed with modern breech loading rifles. Upstream communication and a flow of supplies were maintained by his mobilisation of a large numbers of mekoro.
 
Most of the strike force apparently consisted of young Batawana and Wayeyi commoners. Throughout his reign Sekgoma cultivated these groups in particular as a political counterweight to those Batawana notables or dikgosana who remained hostile to his desire to rule in his own behalf. Sekgoma’s then most outspoken opponent, Thabeng Mogalakwe, however, also played a leading role in the expedition.
 
The Batawana initially set out against the “Bakwangadi”, a group living in south-east Angola. Their campaign was successful insofar as the latter were relieved of the burden of herding large numbers of cattle. On his way back, Sekgoma decided to further attack the Vagciriku, whose ruler, Nyangana, had previously accepted the status of being a junior ally to Moremi II.
 
Sekgoma had, however, come into conflict with Nyangana over the latter’s killing of a party of white traders, who were on their way to Ngamiland and also for hunting without permission in lands claimed by the Batawana. But, these differences may have only been an excuse for the attack, which proved to be a lucrative opportunity to incorporate large numbers of Vagciriku as vassals (malata) while seizing their cattle.
 
Sekgoma is said to have used trickery to help secure his victory. Arriving at the well fortified Vagciriku settlement of Lishora in peace, he showed Nyangana the captured Bakwangadi cattle. He is then said to have boasted that his success was due to the superiority of Thabeng Mogalakwe’s gun medicine. As a seemingly friendly gesture, it was agreed that Thabeng would also doctor the Vagciriku guns.
 
As a result, Nyangana gathered his men together with their guns, which were placed together in a big pile under a tree. The Vagciriku ruler was then induced to crawl through what turned out to be a noose, which was tightened securing him. This was the signal for Batawana to ambush the now all but defenceless Vagciriku, whose resulting defeat was complete.
 
Sekgoma’s mephato thus returned to Tsau with some 500 captives, as well as cattle.
 
When news reached London via Barotseland (western Zambia) of Sekgoma’s exploits, the principal British concern was the effect that the raid might have on their relations with Germany and Portugal, the nominal colonial overlords of the Vagciriku and Bakwangadi.
 
In fact, like the British, at the time neither the Germans nor the Portuguese had any genuine administrative presence in the region. This resulted in confused correspondence between Berlin, Lisbon and London as to what exactly had occurred, with the hapless Nyangana initially being seen as the aggressor.
 
It was in the above context that London directed that a contingent of Bechuanaland Border Police, under Lieutenant A.E. Walshe, should finally be posted at Tsau. Germany only established a degree of control over northern Namibia, including the Caprivi from 1908, while the Portuguese were even slower in establishing their authority in the region.
 
The 1893 expedition marks the beginning of Sekgoma’s deeper conflict with the British.
 
In the aftermath of his successful raids on the Bakwangadi and Vagciriku, Kgosi Sekgoma was able to strengthen his position in Ngamiland through the distribution of captured cattle mostly to Batawana commoners.
 
Sekgoma also continued to cultivate support among his non-Batawana subjects. Prominent among his loyalists was the then leading Moyeyi kgosana Mokgwathi. At the time many Wayeyi were held as malata by prominent Batawana dikgosana, who pejoratively referred to them as Makuba. In struggling to free themselves from such exploitation the Wayeyi had found a strong supporter in the local London Missionary Society Evangelist Sebolai Shomolokai, who uncompromisingly condemned bolata as the sin of slavery.
 
Sekgoma’s own support for the Wayeyi may have been more opportunistic. Greater freedom for Wayeyi vassals undermined the position of their masters, who were mostly composed of the Kgosi’s political enemies.    
 
During the 1890s, Ngamiland, like the rest of Botswana, suffered from a series of natural disasters. Severe drought occurred from 1895 to 1897, while huge locust swarms infested the area throughout the decade. Having stored large amounts of grain in his granaries, Sekgoma was, however, able to turn the drought to his political advantage by generously redistributing his surpluses to the needy.

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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