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Why Dikgosi abandon Bogosi for politics

Ndulamo Anthony Morima



Following the untimely death of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tlokweng, Honourable Same Bathobakae, political parties are already considering the possible candidates to field for the imminent bye election.


This is not because the political parties are insensitive, but because they want to have a head start over the other political parties. Though they cannot say it publicly, they want to leverage from the grief. As true politicians they even claim that this is what the late Bathobakae would have wanted.    


According to Sunday Standard’s online edition of 8th December 2016, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has commenced talks with Batlokwa Kgosi, Kgosi Puso Gaborone, who currently serves as the Chairman of Ntlo ya Dikgosi.


According to the report, when contacted for comment, Kgosi Gaborone said “… I am not in a position to respond to allegations…What I can tell you is that I’m happy with my position as a Kgosi.”


Whether Kgosi Gaborone has indeed been approached by the BDP remains conjecture. The same applies to whether or not he will accept the offer if made to him. What is not conjecture is the fact that since independence Bogosi has lost Dikgosi to politics.


It may not only be the BDP that has approached Kgosi Gaborone. It is possible, even probable, that the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) too is, directly or through one of its affiliates, or the Botswana Congress Party (BCC), courting Kgosi Gaborone.


Therefore, trying to give the impression that the BDP is doing something wrong by approaching Kgosi Gaborone, if it did, is disingenuous to say the list. History shows that the opposition has benefited more from Dikgosi who abandoned Bogosi for politics.      


Among Dikgosi who dumped the leopard’s skin to join politics are Kgosi Bathoen II of BaNgwaketse, Kgosi Lotlamoreng II of Barolong and Kgosi Tawana Moremi of Batawana who joined the Botswana National Front (BNF) and BDP respectively.


Bogosi, especially of the so-called major tribes, is supposed to be a prestigious title which one would not easily abdicate for an undertaking as risky as politics. The question is: why do some Dikgosi abdicate Bogosi, a birth right and lifelong calling, to join politics?


Firstly, some people, including Dikgosi themselves, have argued that since independence Bogosi’s powers have been usurped by the government. These people argue that today’s Dikgosi are mere ceremonial figure heads. Some even claim that a Councillor has more powers than a Kgosi.


One example that is often given to demonstrate that the central government usurped Dikgosi’s powers is the land administration function which was transferred to land boards.  It is anomalous, these people argue, for a Kgosi not to play a decisive role in the allocation of the land under his control.


Secondly, it has been argued that though our constitution provides for Ntlo ya Dikgosi, which is theoretically the second chamber of the National Assembly, Ntlo ya Dikgosi has no teeth since it merely plays an advisory role to Parliament on customary or traditional matters.


It would be recalled that Kgosi Kgafela II of Bakgatla declined to take up his seat in Ntlo ya Dikgosi, stating, among others, that it is a toothless talk shop since members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi are civil servants whose ability to represent their tribes without fear is compromised by the fact that they are accountable to government.


Thirdly, it has been contended that the privileges accorded to Dikgosi are not in consonance with their esteemed positions. For instance, while MPs enjoy Parliamentary privilege, i.e. legal immunity granting them protection against civil or criminal liability for actions done or statements made in the course of their legislative duties, Dikgosi have no such privilege.


Fourthly, it has been argued that the remuneration and benefits for Dikgosi are not as lucrative as those accorded to MPs and Councillors. While MPs and Councillors have good salaries, allowances and such lucrative schemes as vehicle and terminal benefits schemes, Dikgosi do not enjoy such.


Consequently, MPs and Councillors generally enjoy a higher standing in the socio-economic strata compared to Dikgosi. This socio-economic capital further enables these politicians to qualify for credit and guarantee facilities with financial institutions, further enhancing their status in the community.


Fifth, Bogosi is a career, if it is indeed a career, with almost no prospects for growth. On the contrary, politicians, especially if they align themselves with the ‘proper’ factions within the party, can progress and end up as cabinet ministers or diplomats.


Seventh, especially for youthful Dikgosi, Bogosi is not a challenging career. Its duties are mundane and the work environment can be boring since their offices often have poor facilities and lack such of today’s necessities as internet connection.


Some have claimed that even the personnel employed at the Kgotla is not of the caliber that would motivate a youthful Kgosi to remain at the Kgotla. A youthful Kgosi, therefore, quickly finds him or herself out of place.      


Though it is possible that some Dikgosi left and will leave Bogosi not because of the aforesaid reasons, but because of their sheer love of politics, it is incontrovertible that some have been and will be influenced by the aforesaid reasons.


Therefore, to retain Dikgosi and to maintain Bogosi’s strength and dignity as an institution government has to empower Dikgosi; improve Dikgosi’s terms and conditions of service; and improve Dikgosi’s working conditions.


If Dikgosi were held with the high regard they deserve, there would be no reason for a paramount chief, for example, who has lifelong security of tenure, to abandon his or her secure and less stressful position to join the risky job that is politics.

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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

… 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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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    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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