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OF CHIEFS AND POLITICS

Yvonne Mooka

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Somewhere in the Letlhakeng sub-district lies a small village called Dutlwe with a population of around 1000 people. Among the prominent people of this settlement is one traditional leader who brags that he had long foretold what the country is experiencing right now with former president Ian Khama who has been complaining of ill-treatment and telling the world that Botswana has turned into a bad country under the current leadership.

When The Midweek Sun visited the settlement last week, Kgosi Douglas Segwagwa said he had long warned people that based on his general manner of doing things, Khama was not a good leader or even a good person. “Ke sale ke ba boleletse batho gore Khama gase motho. Go tsweng bogologolo kentse ke ba bolelela,” he said on the backdrop of what he had described as Khama’s bid to continue clinging onto power.

He recalled an incident when Khama was still president of Botswana and he had visited Takatokwane. “He had come to address us on agricultural reforms. He was coming up well until he ordered that the office in charge in Takatokwane should go and buy tractors right there and then, without first consulting with them or even finding out what funds were available to do that. He has proved with other instances that he just wants things done his way or nothing,” he said.

His assessment of the prevailing circumstances in Botswana is that the arrival of President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has bruised Khama’s ego. “Masisi is a wise man in my view. See how he came in, evaluated promises made by Khama and why they didn’t materialise. He is weighing them and redefining things. One would think he is embarrassing Khama intentionally but he is not. All he is trying to show us is that a president should put people first. “Take for example, the civil servants salary increase. Khama doesn’t have reasons as to why he didn’t want them increased because it has always been about himself,” he said.

Kgosi Segwagwa stated that the newly-formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) was formed out of Khama’s bitterness and anger ‘because Masisi is refusing to entertain him.’ His observation is that Khama was not ready to retire. “From what we hear we can deduce that he is the BPF president, and it means he wants to face Masisi in October. “If he wins, which I doubt, is he going to criticise government programmes that took shape under him?” asked the civic leader.

‘Politics make chiefs dishonest’
According to Kgosi Segwagwa, diKgosi should choose between politics and Bogosi. He said that unlike Bogosi, politicians lack order and destroy the nation with their selfishness. “Politicians have usurped power from us, at the same time, causing chaos in this country,” he said, adding that a chief who joins politics should get ready for a different world altogether.

“Chiefs should not join politics it makes them dishonest and untrustworthy leaders. Once they join politics, they start lying because they want votes,” he said, adding that any chief who joins politics should promise never to come back to Bogosi because they come back different, character-wise.

“Look at Khama, he is a man obsessed with politics and cannot let go of power. Now he calls Kgotla meetings to address his political issues instead of calling a political rally away from the Kgotla. “When he gets there, he tells morahe to leave BDP and BamaNgwato respond by taking his side because they are his subjects. Indeed they are his slaves,” he said, adding that Khama has destroyed his late father Seretse Khama’s legacy by dividing the BDP and using his morahe to push his agenda. “His father in his grave is not pleased with him,” he said.

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Sun ePaper Wednesday 20 May 2020

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