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Builders Of Botswana: Kgosi Sebele II (Part 6)

Jeff Ramsay
Builders Of Botswana

"Whites and Boers who were engaged in wagon smithing were refused permission to cut trees without the Kgosi's consent, they were also refused permission to use or sell such logs outside Kweneng. He fixed the prices the smiths could charge for fixing things. Good leaders make it a point to protect their people from being cheated by traders; here Sebele II was displaying good insight by protecting the ignorant buyer from the cheating trader.

"Sebele II later prohibited smiths from cutting young trees altogether. He fixed new prices that they could charge for their goods and services. Even though he was feared like lighting there was more happiness in his village than many others or the ones we know presently. He believed in the freedom of people and the advancement of the nation." – M.O.M. Seboni (1956)

Last week's episode ended on the 7th of April 1926 with Kgosi Sebele II informing Captain Stigand that he would attend the Molepolole Magistrate's enquiry into William Horne's assault, in which he observed:

"I will come with them the Bakwena; to come and get from you information as to why should the Bakwena law be taken as nothing, whereas it has been all times kept and carried, not only in our Reserve, but at Gamangwato and Kanye Reserves, they have it, and it applies to all, European and Non-European."

The enquiry was held three days later, during which time Horne's account of the incident was largely discredited. He subsequently felt compelled to beg the Bakwena for forgiveness. Stigand nonetheless warned the Bakwena that the Boers were not under the kgotla and could not be arrested.

Notwithstanding Stigand's pronouncement, Sebele's Batshegetsi-ba-molao continued to vigorously counsel erring Europeans about the need to respect mekwe le melao ya Sekwena. In the years that followed at least three more Boer wagons found their way to Kgosing following separate Sunday incidents.

Similar practices could be found in the other tribal reserves. In 12 April 1934 letter to the Resident Magistrate at Kanye, the Bangwaketse Kgosi Bathoen II noted:

"It must be born in mind that the Coloured people, even Europeans, are quite agreeable to be tried in Kgotla. With the knowledge of the Administration the Chief exercised both judicial and Administrative jurisdiction over them up to the present time until last year when Chief Tshekedi at Serowe was suspended from the exercise of the functions of his office, merely because he tried a European in Kgotla. The Enquiry found him guilty of 'a deliberate and flagrant violation of Protectorate law', even though Phineas McIntosh had no complaint against the Chief's judgment in Kgotla."

The media hysteria about Sebele's supposed "white slaves" had already put pressure on colonial regime to end Botswana's reputation as a place where makgoa "went native."

This desire to uphold legal segregation by race became an obsession after the installation of Charles Rey the Protectorate's Resident Commissioner in 1930. Files were opened on such subjects as "The Miscegenation Problem" and "Undesirable Europeans Living in Native Reserves"; the term "undesirable" being used to refer to whites whose economic status and/or social relations brought them into close association with blacks.

Rey's racial concerns and penchant for removing insubordinate dikgosi culminated in the infamous 1933 incident in which the Bangwato regent Tshekedi was accused of flogging Phineas McIntosh, who was a former schoolmate of the Kgosi.

Rey arranged for a naval detachment to be dispatched from Capetown to Serowe to preside over a suspension ceremony in which Tshekedi and the Bangwato were forced to stand under the sun, with guns trained on them, facing the local white population who were pointedly positioned under a covered dais behind the colonial administrators, police, and marines.

But the whites of Serowe were, for the most part, embarrassed if not disgusted with the whole exercise. At the earlier "enquiry" McIntosh had staunchly defended the actions "his chief", a loyalty that resulted in his own extra-judicial banishment. In 1934 Rey proposed the "Creation of a Settlement for Coloured People and Poor Whites" along the Molopo as a way to remove such people from the reserves. He wrote:

"A settlement should be formed on the Crown lands to which people of this character could be removed. We should not remove forcibly from the native reserves adults now living there. We should, however, prohibit any increase in their numbers by immigration and when their children became of age they should be told that they would have to go to the new settlement or leave the territory."

The authorities in London initially welcomed Rey's proposal. But, in the end his apartheid scheme did not materialise due to legal and financial constraints. Instead he was authorised to carry out the more limited objective of imposing residential segregation between blacks, whites, and coloureds at Kanye, as well as Molepolole.

In the case of Molepolole residential segregation by race was implemented as part of the broader forced resettlement of the village in 1937. This policy was carried out with the public support of the South African government, which, in 1939, published its own extensive study on the supposedly dire consequences of "Race Mixture" in the Protectorate. In it special concern was expressed at what was described as the "biological deterioration" of Boers living at Ghanzi and Molepolole.

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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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