Mmegi Online :: Census opens old wounds in Tumasera and Seleka
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Last Updated
Tuesday 20 November 2018, 13:46 pm.
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Census opens old wounds in Tumasera and Seleka

TUMASERA/SELEKA: The national Population and Housing Census have opened fresh wounds between residents of Tumasera and Seleka villagers.
By Staff Writer Tue 20 Nov 2018, 20:32 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Census opens old wounds in Tumasera and Seleka








Apparently Tumasera residents pulled out of the exercise midway after they learnt that they were being counted under the same code (19) with their Seleka counterparts. They were enraged after learning that Seleka residents who boycotted the national exercise when it started allegedly made an agreement with the Central Statistics Office to the effect that each ward in Tumasera be counted on its own rather than being lumped up as a village.

It is on this ground that Seleka residents agreed to take part in the census. However, this annoyed Tumasera residents who claim that they were not consulted when the issue was agreed upon with their Seleka counterparts.

Their stand is that they do not want to be counted as separate wards, but a village. They (Tumasera residents) even sent a delegation to the district office to get an explanation on the issue before counting can continue.

By Wednesday there was no counting in Tumasera while the exercise was ongoing in Seleka. It was vice versa when the exercise commenced last week. Tumasera village is made up of four wards, Tupya, Malete, Seleka and Rasesa. For years, Seleka residents have been claiming supremacy over the rest of the wards. Therefore, they want the village name to be Seleka. The battle of village naming ended up in the courts where the decision was that Seleka be a village on its own. Tumasera residents are determined to ensure that the mistake they made during the 2001 census does not repeat itself. "We were counted under the same code with Seleka residents, but there is no way separate villages can share a code. So we are not going ahead with the counting until relevant authorities come and explain everything to us," charged a villager whose comments were greeted with a chorus of approval from the residents who had thronged the meeting in large numbers this week. They felt that if they continue to be counted, the figures are likely to be used in favour of Seleka. "We will be taken for granted if we renege on the resolution and agree to be counted," charged another resident.

Those who felt counting should go on were met with dissenting voices from

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the majority. Some suggested that the counting officers be allowed to continue and then the village sue government afterwards. "Ga gona yo o tlileng gore boela a tla go re bala. Gatwe Ian, go atwe tuu!" pleaded an elderly woman.

Tumasera Sub-Tribal Authority, Kelapile Maleele told Mmegi after the Kgotla meeting that their contention is that an agreement was made with Seleka residents that the counting be done per ward and they were not consulted.

"So they want to be counted as a village comprising Malete, Tupye and Rasesa not as individual wards. They also selected a delegationthat sought audience with relevant authorities yesterday. In the meantime counting has stalled in Tumasera until the angry villagers get a proper explanation from the said meeting," he said.

Maleele said he has been trying to explain to his community that the exercise is national hence they have to be counted but they feel hard done and oppressed by their Seleka counterparts. Seleka ward leader Kgosi Makhurumola Baitswe said his people initially refused to be counted because they wanted their area to be treated as a village on its own rather than being lumped together with those of Tumasera. He said some counting officers who were posted in Seleka were then transferred to other areas because villagers had refused to be counted. But they returned after the authorities agreed with them that they will be counted on their own.

"The argument is that we are supposed to be counted as Seleka village as per the high court ruling. But in the CSO documents we were classified as Tumasera instead of Seleka," he said.

He maintained that their initial response to the census does not pose any threat to peace because they are determined to defend the status of their village with the support of the High Court judgment. National census coordinator Dabilani Buthali who attended yesterday's meeting in Tumasera said they managed to resolve the issue with residents.

"We will be extending enumeration beyond August 18 and even deploy enumerators from other areas to come and assist here to finish up," he said. Buthali added that the extension will be done in all areas that did not meet the deadline.

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