Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Tension between gov’t and Bakgatla could boil over

The tension between Bakgatla and the government looks set to heighten, with the Office of the President reluctant to respond to demands put forward by the tribe more than a month ago.

Bakgatla are expected to convene over the weekend to map out other means to engage President Ian Khama in a bid to resolve the tension that prevails between the two parties.

Information passed to Sunday Standard suggests that the government is not in a position to respond to the Bakgatla petition until after the general election that will be held on the 24th of October this year.

It is understood that OP has been advised not to respond to the petition until after the general election as the decision might somehow have a negative impact on the outcome of the elections.

The ruling BDP is looking to scoop the two Kgatleng constituencies which are currently held by the opposition Botswana Movement for Democratic Party (BMD) and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP).

Speaking to Sunday Standard Kabelo Moswetsi, a leader of the Mangana regiment, said: “It is more than a month since we petitioned the office of the president but since then we have not had any response from or even an acknowledgement letter that confirms that they have received the petition.”

He added: “It is really disappointing that even at this time OP has not even bothered to respond to the petition.”

Moswetsi indicated that all was not lost as at the weekend a general meeting would be held at the main kgotla at which the tribe would be updated about the petition.

“Morafe will take a decision on what next step to take after we have updated them. Therefore I am not in any position to preempt or to make any suggestions on what Morafe will do,” he said.

When contacted for comment, Kgatleng district commissioner, Wame Samapipi said: “The office of the president has not yet responded.”

She said she would not speculate on why the highest office had not yet responded.

Samapipi stated that recently, some of the Morafe representatives came to her office to inquire about the petition.

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ray Molomo, said he is aware of the petition but was not sure whether it was morafe or regiments who had petitioned the OP.

He said he was not aware as to why the government had not responded to the petition.

“Maybe the government felt that there was no need to respond to the petition due to certain considerations best known to the OP,” Molomo stated.

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