- as government clamps down on Bamangwato
Balwela Kgosi have condemned the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kgotla Autlwetse whom they accuse of undermining Bangwato and the Royal family through his actions. They said the actions by Autlwetse that include suspension of the Bamangwato Regent and prohibiting them from holding Kgotla meetings for what he (Autlwetse) said are private matters affecting Bamangwato Paramount Chief Ian Khama and his family are uncalled for.
Responding to a questionnaire, through one of their representatives Chimbidzani Chimidza, Balwela Kgosi who were influential in igniting the fight for their Paramount Chief through a series of Kgotla meetings at Serowe Main Kgotla by updating people on Khama situation and even petitioning Bamangwato Regent Sediegeng Kgamane demanding explanation from him and Royal uncles about their Paramout Chief situation said the Minister is overstepping his boundaries as he has no jurisdiction where the Kgotla is concerned therefore they are going to fight the decisions by the minister.
He indicated that their intention is to stay away from violence which the government is trying to push them towards and instead they will seek help from the courts of law to help them resolve the issues amicably. “We shall find a way forward no matter how many obstacles the current regime put in our way, and we will do it peacefully. We will not be cajoled into lawlessness and streetlights as it seems it is what the government is trying to push us towards,” he said.
Last week Bangwato were forced to abondon a kgotla meeting in Serowe which was called to update the tribe on issues pertaining to Ian Khama and the suspension of Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane. Orders to abandon the meeting, according to royal uncle, Sekgoma Mokhutswane were said to come from ‘above’.
He further said, they respect the traditional institution, which is a forum that has served the people well over time and therefore the Minister is misinformed by implying that they have converted it into a freedom square. He therefore informed the Minister that when they are at the Kgotla they speak about issues that affect morahe (the people) and their paramount chief, and issues that are related to politics are the ones that are settled at freedom squire.
Chimidza said Autlwetse is right when he said during one of his utterances that there are people who are out of order, highlighting that, it is in fact the Minister who is out of order, as it has shown in his continuous lack of respect for Bamangwato “The truth is minister ‘o bua nnete, Goa itirelelwa ka ke ene a itirelelang jaaka a bata, a sa tote Bagammangwato’. He is a disgrace and hope he sleeps peacefully at night.,” he said,
“Minister Autlwetse must be told that our forefathers said “mahoko a kgota a mante othe”, so who is he to now decide what should and/or should not be said at our Kgota,” probed Chimidza
In the meantime, Chimidza said the suspension of Bamangwato Regent Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane is ill-advised and ill-timed, pointing that the day the minister announced the suspension of Kgosi Kgamane before his (Kgosi Kgamane) subordinates, he was fully aware that he (Kgosi Kgamane) will be handing his resignation and therefore, he (Autwetse) decided to come to Serowe to try to show how disrespectful they are of Bagammangwato. “First let us point it out that on the very same day that Minister Autlwetse came to Serowe to suspend Kgosi Kgamane, he was in Gaborone at the Minister’s office to hand-in his resignation. Oh, what a coincidence,” he said.
He further said the current regime is a joke and history shall judge them harshly.
Meanwhile, Chimidza further expressed disappointment at some Dikgosi who are criticizing the Bamangwato for standing up for their royals. “Let me point out that it worries that the people who are supposed to help us differentiate such matters, are themselves failing to differentiate such matters for the public to appreciate. Yes, HE former Ian Khama is a politician and he is also our Paramount Chief. When we are at the Kgotla, we solely deal with him as our Chief and not as a politician. It is disturbing that such esteemed leaders fail to appreciate this. We have never used the Kgotla for any political agenda, we talk about him and his brothers as our royal family,” explained Chimidza.
“In short, we humbly dismiss such short sightedness by such Dikgosi and actually, it is such short sightedness that will destroy our traditional setup,” he added