The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MIGRD) Kgotla Autlwetse has refuted claims that Gammangwato Kgotla is out of bound for the tribe and that people are refused access.
Speaking during a kgotla meeting at Ditimamodimo ward in Serowe on Wednesday, Autlwetse said Serowe kgotla has never stopped operating as the current Motshwarelela Kgosi , Kgosi Serogola Seretse is always convening meetings and trying cases. He said those who claim to be denied access to the kgotla are a certain group of people who think they can call unsanctioned meeting without Kgosi Serogola’s approval and consent.
Autlwetse revealed that according Bogosi Act Section 17, Sub Section 1&2, it fully explains who has the right to call a kgotla meeting and at this time Kgosi Serogola Seretse is the only one who can convene a kgotla meeting. He said the same group who have designated themselves as royal uncles and dikgosi have on previous occasions held unauthorized kgotla meetings where they displayed disrespectful behavior towards bogosi and hulled insults at Kgosi Serogola whom they labelled as unwelcomed intruder turning the kgotla into a political freedom square.
He said Botswana has laws, and by abiding by those laws citizens are avoiding disorderliness that was previously displayed. “We will be an irresponsible government if we can let the people disregard the laws just because they are opposed to the current regime. Let’s them politic at the freedom squares, that’s where they won’t be bothered by anyone, but not at the Kgotla,” warned Autlwetse.
“We are trying to clamp down on unruliness and the disrespect that they are trying to display that is why they are crying foul,” he added.
Autlwetse said Kgotla is not a playground where one can just wake up at night and contemplate convening a Kgotla meeting in the morning. In addition, Autlwetse berated and warned the same designated royal uncles against treating Gammagwato chieftainship as a game. He said everyone now think they have the right to seat at the top table and discuss the royal issues.
Autlwetse explained that there are four families that have the right to mediate Bangwato Chieftainship, being the Khama family, and the second being Kgamane family made of Sediegeng Kgamane and his brother Felix Kgamane. “The third, is Seretse Family of whom their Senior is Kgosi Serogola who is currently at the kgotla, and the fourth is Kebailele family, these are the families that have a say regarding the Bangwato chieftainship,” he said.
Autwetlse also said, the same people who are singing the loudest right now, and claim to have the interest Chief of Bangwato Ian Khama interest at heart, are not interested in advocating for Khama to come home from his self-imposed exile in South Africa. He said they are currently feeding Khama lies by telling him if he come back to Botswana he will be killed. He said their ‘concerns’ for Khama are just a ploy to advance their ambitions to prolong the post of regency.
“They won’t advise him (Khama) to come back to his kgotla, because it is a threat to their personal ambitions. Him coming back means no more regency, they have already lined themselves up for different positions, that is why they tell him once he set foot in Botswana he will be eliminated,” he said.
Autlwetse said Bangwato are not the first tribe to have their kgosi join active politics. He said Barolong and Batawana chiefs also joined active politics, however unlike in Gammangwato where everyone wants a piece of action, when they returned to bogosi procedure was followed until handover.
Autlwetse also implored Bangwato to take stock of themselves, saying they should exercise caution as to whom they choose to follow because some may not have their interest at heart but are motivated by their personal and political ambitions. He warned that Bangwato chieftainship is not up for grabs as it looks like everyone wants a piece of a pie.
Minister Autlwetse was responding to Serowe resident Kearoma Lesiapeto concern that Gammangwato kgotla is closed, and the tribe has no place to discuss issues relating to the welfare of the people and bogosi. Lesiapeto said on several occasions when they are called to the kgotla it is barricaded and they are denied access. “Last time we were called to kgotla to discuss our bogosi, unfortunately it was barricaded with heavy presence of armed police and soldiers who refused us entrance,” complained Lesiapeto
Meanwhile, during a recent interview with The Patriot on Sunday, royal uncles representative, Rasebolai Kgamane revealed that their lawyers are busy drafting a case against the government which they will soon present before the high court. He said the case involves the current refusal by government to allow them access to kgotla and refusal to endorse Seretse Peter Khama as Motshwarelela Kgosi.
During the interview Kgamane also brushed off criticisms against their involvement in the Bogosi affairs and specified that, they are acting on behalf Former President who is also the chief of Bangwato Seretse Khama Ian Khama who is instruct them what to do. “The meeting are called following instructions from Khama, we do what he tells us to do,” he said.
Get real time update about this post categories directly on your device, subscribe now.