I have just finished reading the book “President’s keepers; Those Keeping Zuma in power and out of prison”, by Jacques Pauw. Jacques dear reader is a journalist of great repute, a founding member of the anti apartheid Afrikaans news paper Vrye Weekblad in the late 1980s, where he exposed the Vlakplass police death squads. In his book, Jac Pauw exposes the darkest secret at the heart of Jacob Zuma’s compromised government: a cancerous cabal that eliminates the President’s enemies and purges the law enforcement agencies of good men and women
Jacques’s book reminded me of a book review I read some years ago titled “Menace to Society”, Political ÔÇô Criminal collaboration around the world, edited by Roy Godson. The book gives an illustration on how drug money financed Presidential campaigns in Columbia.
What am I on about dear reader?
One of the more dangerous contemporary threats to the quality of life is the collaboration of the political establishment with the criminal underworld–the political-criminal nexus. This active partnership increasingly undermines the rule of law, human rights, and economic development in many parts of the world.
Before, I proceed I wish to send a strong warning signal to traditional leaders as there is an emergence of a new form of threat where some political Tsotsi’s with an agenda to gain political mileage will use traditional institutions – Bogosi and other village level community projects to canvass for political support.
The traditional leadership MUST BE WARNED!!!!
The onus is on the traditional leadership to separate personal relationship and friendship to office. They MUST desist from protecting the Tsotsi’s and MUST not allow and or condone the Tsotsi’s to use their names to gain political mileage and support. Once these surfaces, the traditional leaders MUST with immediate effect disassociate themselves from these Tsotsi. Failure to do so will put them in a collusion cause with their superiors, for no administration or Minister responsible will allow for active participation in politics by the traditional leaders by way of turning their Kgotla into a political freedom square, canvassing support for some individual political Tsotsi masquerading as some spokesperson of the royal family or leader of some regiment, when in actual fact that is just an outright lie.
The Tsotsi once sure they have gunned some cosmetic support from the traditional leader will be a MENACE, become un-controllable, dis-respectful, arrogant and extremely pompous. In some instances THEY believe in their own echoes, behave like the late Ugandan President Idi Amin, give themselves many titles, leaders of some regiment, spokesperson of the Royal family when they know fully well that they are lying.
Batho ba Mohuta o ke bo “Ha Nka Sekotama”. E ka re nka bo ke le “Rangwane” wa Kgosi. Etc.
Although the laws of Botswana allow its citizens to participate in politics, but a traditional leader/ruler who is a symbol of unity in his jurisdiction should not engage in active partisan politics. If such a leader participates in partisan politics it undermines that unique position and bring division in the community because people may oppose his party. Engaging in partisan politics will undermine the confidence and independence of them in the dispensation of their judicial functions.
The Weekend Post of the 27th January 2018 carried a story titled “Kgafela’s ally to replace David’s”
According to the said article it stated “Bakgatla Ba Kgafela exiled chief Kgafela Kgafela II, his Deputy Bana Sekai and the royal enclave have given Kgafela’s regiment leader, Moagi Molebatsi blessings to contest Mochudi East constituency under the Botswana National Front /(BNF) ticket as the race replace Isaac Davids takes off”.
“Kgafela’s regiment known as “Mangana” under the stewardship of Molebatsi has been the driving force in advocating for the return of their Chief and other community issues including the installation of Sekai as chief last year”.
“I have informed Kgosi Sekai and the regiment about my intentions and they agreed and wished me best of luck”. “For protocol sake I wouldn’t personally tell Kgabo (Kgafela) about it hence channeled it through Sekai to tell Kgosi”. “But for sure he does not have any problems with this…..” he could have long summoned me if he did….. “Molebatsi said in an interview.
“He was instrumental in bringing calmness and stability in our area, which has been envied by others”.
Politicians and political leaders clearly are fully aware the power Dikgosi wield and would do everything in their own interest to hoodwink Dikgosi that they are with them and that they care for them only when it suits them. They would even tell out-right open lies to the media in their bid to win elections.
In his interview with the Weekend Post, Moagi Molebatsi was economical with the truth. In fact he lied and he lied A lot. He too knows that he told the Weekend post is lies.
The onus is on Kgosi Sekai to disassociate himself from the self proclaimed Mangana leader and spokesperson of the royal family, Moagi Molebatsi. For he is Lying. He is not what he told the Weekend Post journalist.
Perhaps the Weekend Post, journalist could have sought clarity from Kgosi Sekai first before going for publication. The journalist could have also sought clarity from Moagi Molebatsi as to which royal family is he referring to?
Because on a number of occasions at Kgotla meetings, the same Moagi Molebatsi the self proclaimed royal family spokesperson has gone on record ridiculing the royal Uncles, and also stating that he does not recognize them as royal uncles.
It is also advisable for the Weekend Post to go back to Moagi Molebatsi and ask him which royal family he is a spokesperson of? Who gave him that mandate and in which year was he declared the leader of Mangana regiment, which year he went for initiation and from which ward does he come from and as to whether he is the regiment leader from his ward?
If in doubt they should go to the Phuthadikobo to learn more on the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela regiment and leaders.
It is also advisable to the Weekend Post to seek an opinion from Kgosi Sekai as to whether what Moagi Molebatsi said about him in the Weekend Post is TRUE or Not?.
Traditional leaders play a vital role in the development of their community. They also serve as a link between governments, non-governmental organizations and their people. Traditional leaders who meddle in partisan politics are often faced with challenges in the administration of people who belong to different political parties. Dikgosi should exercise their political right but should have in mind that they have a responsibility to protect the dignity of Bogosi by remaining neutral in political activities. .
The opposition political leaders MUST also talk to their aspiring political representatives that they MUST refrain from using the tribal association and friendship with some tribal leaders (s) to gain political mileage. They must understand fully the character of these political aspirants who aspire to stand for political office. Should the opposition political leaders continue being mislead by these Tsotsis then they should know that they will lose credibility and integrity.
They should as a matter of urgency issue a statement dissociating themselves with an interview such as the one that has been given by Moagi Molebatsi to Weekend Post. It is in bad taste and does not respect the internal processes of BNF and undermines other candidates and creates and gives a wrong impression that Moagi Molebatsi is an ally of Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela Kgafela and that he has been given the Green light by the KK KK II and the royal family to stand for political office. Such is an individual undertaking and does not need legitimacy from the King and Royal family.
The ruling party should be advised to engage with the royal uncles, family and the tribe and they should preach peace, reconciliation and love. They should tell the tribe that all the charges leveled against their Kgosi Kgolo will be lifted and such will be done solely by the state in consultation with the King and his close family and not some false prophet, grandstander who would wants to be given accolades and batches and recognized as a HERO.
Thabo Lucas Seleke writes from Seleme Farm, Rasesa