The Paramount chief of Balete, together with the entire tribal authority, left the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Kitso Mokaila, shame faced on Monday when they did not welcome him at the main kgotla. The Member of Parliament for the area was also absent.
The minister was forced to beat a hasty retreat back to Gaborone after he had sat outside the tribal authority offices waiting for the Kgosi that never came.
The no show by the GaMalete tribal leadership together with the MP stems from Mokalia’s apparent failure to communicate his visit on time.
A little over two weeks ago, another minister, Lebonaamang Mokalake, saw his attempts to bar striking workers from holding a meeting at the kgotla scuttled by Kgosi Mosadi Seboko, who went ahead and hosted workers against the minister’s instruction. At the time, the Kgosi argued that she has the authority as vested upon her by the Bogosi Act to protect the welfare of people within her tribal territory without prejudice.
Kgosi Mosadi could not be reached for comment by the time of going to press after repeated attempts to reach her on her mobile phone.
Mokaila refused to divulge the purpose of his visit to the Ramotswa kgotla when approached by The Telegraph.
Cutting a lone figure inside his official car, the minister spoke to us through the car window, saying he would only grant us an interview after the meeting, which was botched. ┬á┬á
After the failed meeting, attempts to speak to him again hit a snag.
“You are trying very hard to get a comment from me. You are getting nothing from me.”
When it was announced the meeting had been cancelled, ululations erupted from striking public servants who were packed at the Ramotswa kgotla.
Car horns blew.
Another government minister had failed to sway the chief his way to advance the government propaganda, unionists said in celebration.
The area MP told The Telegraph that he was unaware of the minister’s visit until the same day of the meeting while he himself had another engagement that was planned in advance.
“The Minister went to my constituency behind my back. There is a strange plot employed by the BDP government to target those that they think to be their enemies. The BDP government is very arrogant. They do not believe anybody matters,” said Motlhale.
A group of workers taunted the minister as they lined up the road entering the main kgotla to catch a glimpse of him and to bid him farewell as he left for Gaborone.
It looked as if the whole spectacle was planned and well coordinated.
“I am not the one who is at war with you,” Minister Mokaila protested before the cheeky crowd that mocked him as they stretched hands to greet him.