Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Babirwa chieftainship flares up again

A new controversy is brewing surrounding the troubled chieftainship of Bobirwa on who will succeed the  outgoing Kgosi Mmirwa Malema.

Kgosi Malema is due to retire in September this year.

And claimants are lining up to succeed him.

There are claims that Malema is putting his son through the paces and setting him up as successor against other claimants.

To that end Malema has been ordered by his superiors in Serowe to stop lobbying for his son under the pretext that he is bidding people farewell when addressing kgotla meetings.

Recently a highly anticipated meeting in Bobonong was called off on the eleventh hour by the Regent of Bangwato Kgosi Sediageng Khamane following allegations that the outgoing Malema had been using such gatherings to lobby for his son Letso Malema who is currently the representative of Babirwa in the House of Chiefs.

The meeting was called off due to security reasons as it was feared emotions would flare up resulting in chaos.

Babirwa are still not yet sure who they will elect to succeed Malema.

The minister of Local Government Slumber Tsogwane has confirmed that indeed Kgosi Malema has had to be called to order by Kgosi Kgamane to stop lobbying for his son.

“I have been informed about that and I fully support what action Kgosi Sediegeng has taken against Malema,” said the Minister.

He said what Malema is doing is completely wrong and not acceptable in anyway.

Minister Tsogwane added that kgotla meetings should not be used for succession campaigns.

“As far as I am concerned I have not received any suggested name from Babirwa tribe who will succeed Malema when he retires in the next three months,” said Tsogwane.

He explained that firstly the royal family should discuss and come up with a suggestion of the name that will succeed Malema.

He said secondly after the royal family has made up their mind about the suggested name, the royal family will then go back to Morafe with the name and ask them whether or not they approve of it.

 He indicated that once both parties agree the suggested name will be forwarded to the minister for approval but if both parties square up they should sit  around the table and discuss further until they reach an agreement.

Kgosi Malema said it was true that  he would be retiring at the end of September.

“But currently I am busy addressing kgotla meetings thanking my people for the support they gave me for so many years.”

He stated that it was never easy being in leadership but said he managed to pull through despite the many challenges that he went through.

“My son Letso who is in the House of Chiefs is the one who will be succeeding me.”

 He said that his Morafe has agreed.

However another claimant to the throne, Kgosi Adam Masilo said  he was shocked when he heard Malema lobbying for his son to succeed him.

“That was totally unacceptable,” said Masilo.

“This is disgusting,” he added.

He explained that it is unfortunate that Ray Molomo Commission report has failed dismally to determine the legitimate person to lead Babirwa.

He said the failure of the Molomo Commission has been a shame to his tribe.

 “I will approach the courts to claim my position if Malema can try to play dirty tricks to appoint his son,” he said.  

Kgosi Masilo said he strongly believes that his tribe will rally behind him and do the right thing to suggest his name.  

 In 2012 the then Minister of Local Government Peter Siele set up a Task Force to try to resolve the dispute by identifying the legitimate chief of Babirwa. The task force was chaired by former minister and Speaker of Parliament Ray Molomo.

Other members were Kingsley Sebele, Shaw Mokgadi (a Ngwato Royal) and Dr Rodgers Molefhi (a Historian).

The report was never been made public.

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