Hordes of Tonota residents and surrounding villages on Friday thronged the village Kgotla to inaugurate Kgosi Bokamoso Radipitse who is the new village chief. Radipitse takes over the chieftainship from his father, Ramosinyi Radipitse who retired from the chieftaincy throne last year in 2016 due to old age. The village which is dominated by the Bakhurutshe tribe transformed into a hive of celebration last week as the youthful chief was crowned amid songs, dance, speeches and poetry. Bangwato Regent, Sediegeng Kgamane showered accolades on the outgoing Chief Ramosinyi Radipitse for his excellent service to the people of Tonota and the neighbouring villages.
“Radipitse began his work as a mere arbitrator in the early 80’s and in 1988 I approached him to to consider becoming the village chief as his predecessor was of weak health. We had lengthy peaceful discussions with stakeholders and a consensus was reached in 1990 that he should be given the chieftaincy. The people of Tonota were very happy and there was a celebration. He has since served for 27 years and his service was excellent. He is a great man,” he said. Kgamane said that he had a cordial working relationship with the outgoing Chief, Ramosinyi Radipitse. He said that they often travelled together to important events including royal funerals. He pleaded with the heir to the chieftaincy to follow in his father’s footsteps who served his people diligently and with humility. Giving a keynote address, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso also praised the outgoing chief, Ramosinyi Radipitse for a job well done.
She also thanked him for giving the chieftaincy to his son and pleaded with him to mentor him. Tshireletso further praised Tonota residents for avoiding Bogosi conflicts which are already ravaging different villages across the country. She revealed that the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Slumber Tsogwane is often forced to traverse the width and breadth of the country trying to solve these conflicts. “Unlike other villages in Botswana I am happy to say that Bakhurutshe have never been embroiled in Bogosi conflicts. These conflicts are inundating our ministry and they are a serious concern,” said the assistant minister. Tshireletso said that despite the fact that some of the predecessors in the Tonota chieftaincy have not been from the Bakhurutshe tribe, it was pleasing to note that there were never any conflicts or tensions in the village. On a positive note the Assistant Minister said Bogosi continues to contribute positively to the development of Botswana. She further said that Bogosi plays a very important role in nurturing Botswana’s democracy.
“Since Independence Bogosi has since contributed significantly to what Botswana is today. The government respects Bogosi. For an example we had three chiefs who went to England to seek protection from the British government and they played a very important role in the country’s history,” she said. Tsireletso further said that Bogosi is not only about conflict resolutions, but it serves an important purpose in uniting and building the nation. She said the Kgotla system which is part of Bogosi plays a very important role in the lives of people. She also said that Ntlo ya Dikgosi continues to play a significant role in the development of the country. “Our Dikgosi still have their own challenges but the government is doing its best to address them. I am aware of the challenges they often face,” she said.
She said now that Kgosi Bokamoso Radipitse has taken the throne, he should not disappoint his subjects but emulate his father who served Bakhurutshe with humility and love. Handing over the chieftaincy to his son, Out going Kgosi Ramosinyi Radipitse thanked the people of Tonota for working well with him during his tenure and for their love and support. He said that he is confident that his son will lead Bakhurutshe and will not disappoint them. “I have never been to school. My son and his sister educated me. They taught me a number of things and even helped me understand the penal code. I have faith in my son who is now my chief. I am the father to the chief. He is respectable young man. He is an intelligent young man, but that is not to say he is more intelligent than everyone else. He needs to listen to his subjects, serve them with respect and respect their views,” he said to an applause from the residents. For his part, the new chief Kgosi Bokamoso Radipitse assured his subjects that he will not let them down. He pleaded with them to feel free to help and guide him where they feel that he is not doing things right.
“I want to thank my father for believing in me. As he is still alive I believe he will continue to mentor me. I also had the opportunity to be advised by my seniors such as Regent Sediegeng Kgamane. I definitely should follow my fathers footsteps and take Tonota to another level in terms of development,” he said in conclusion.. The event was graced by a number of dignitaries, amongst them, the Member of Parliament for Tonota who is also the Minister of Arts, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng, Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development Fidelis Molao and Kgosi Kebonetshwene Mosielele of Bahurutshe ba Manyana. Both the outgoing and the new chief were showered with gifts from residents and the business community.