Bogosi ‘pundits’ keen to publicly denounce the legitimacy and importance of the role bestowed upon Dikgosi this week earned the wrath of the vice-chairperson of Ntlo ya Dikgosi accusing them of stirring the stable climate within the Bogosi circles and the entire nation with untruths.
Not only has this attitude the potential to divide and disunite the House but it could also polarize the cosmopolitan Batswana, said Puso Gaborone.
He said negative suggestions about Bogosi by a few selective modernists and urbanites were rife across the country, threatening the existence of Bogosi. He added that if not stifled prematurely, we could see Bogosi slide into oblivion.
“As you might have been aware there are negative suggestions uttered by a select clique, ridiculing the role played by Dikgosi. They are keen and bended to see Bogosi degenerate into oblivion,” Gaborone said.
Their intent and aim, he maintained, is to divide and disunite this House and the entire nation.
“Bogosi is our culture and the backbone of every Motswana. This House, and the nation at large, have enjoyed a tremendous stable climate for quite a long time and could not afford to be driven into disarray by a few selected individuals,” he added.
Officially opening the Ntlo ya Dikgosi 5th meeting, which also marked the inauguration of Kgosi Fish Malepe Ozoo of Wayeyi on Monday, the youthful Batlokwa chief expressed fear that the status quo that Bogosi and the country have enjoyed for a long time was at stake, urging the officially installed Wayeyi chief and the entire House to join forces to thwart the opposing forces keen to cloud and stir up the current peaceful environment.
Contributing to the now adopted Bogosi bill in parliament, MPs across the political divide expressed fear the government was rendering the role played by Dikgosi impotent.
“The bill is designed to empower the Minister of Local Government with all the powers and simultaneously render Dikgosi powerless,” MPs argued.
Although he initially wanted to keep mum over the bill, Specially Elected MP, Botsalo Ntuane, came out clear in parliament saying he could do with or without Bogosi, adding, “Taken seriously, tribal identities were the cause of civil strife across the continent.”
Interviewed on local television, renowned attorney, Duma Boko, declared Dikgosi incompetent to carry out judicial duties, adding that not only were the duties sensitive but were getting too complicated and complex for their (Dikgosi) understanding.
“Modern laws are complicated and complex. These cases should be handled by law oriented individuals. Even we, as lawyers, find these laws difficult,” Boko argued.
The situation is also not helped by the revelations that the Kgotla verdicts are not based on merit, with most ‘convicts’ coming from the ‘misdirection’ of these courts languishing in prison yards.
Owing to this ‘misdirection’, the ‘pundits’ are doubtful about the 100 percent conviction rate adding “often the rights of the accused are not recognized”.
Although in tandem with the defiant individuals’ concession that ‘culture is dynamic and not static’, the vice chair-person could not succumb to the idea that Bogosi are redundant.
Kgosi Gaborone is adamant Bogosi is playing an important role in the development of this country, adding “even the defiant individuals were brought up and nurtured by the Setswana culture”.
“As traditional leaders, we should be mindful and subscribe to the changing modern times. But that, however, does not mean throwing out of the window all of our respectful culture,” Gaborone cautioned, advising Kgosi Ozoo and the entire House to use optimum discretion in identifying and retaining the good of our culture.
Bogosi is the cornerstone of Batswana culture upon which the government of the day could not do without, he maintained, summoning the House to lead by example and conserve “our besieged and endangered culture”.
“Undoubtedly, nobody could underestimate the important role played by Bogosi in this country. Batswana have been following the Setswana culture and it is this culture that made Botswana what it is today,” Gaborone said.
Kgosi Ozoo was inaugurated to fill the big boots left by Kgosi Matenaga Matenanga, whose prowess and ability in and outside the House Kgosi Gaborone described as exceptional, pleading with the new chief to follow suit.
“Your presence in this is a great welcome and we hope you will bring a positive contribution to this House as did the late Kgosi Matenanga Matenaga,” said the Batlokwa paramount chief.
The House was also informed that the Chairperson of Ntlo ya Dikgosi, Kgosi Seepapitso, is recovering well although still bed-ridden.