BotswanaPost on Tuesday unveiled the new kgotla stamps with the tagline, ‘Democracy through dialogue’.
The four stamps were designed under four different themes being traditional adjudication, information dissemination, coronation of a chief and dikgafela harvest celebration. Onica Lekuntwane designed the stamps art and they are sold at 50 thebe, P4.00, 90 thebe and P10 respectively.
Speaking during the unveiling of the stamps, the CEO of BotswanaPost Cornelius Ramatlhakwane said the stamps are the ambassadors of the country because they disseminate information about culture, people, landmarks and society, among others. “We want to refocus the kgotla because it contributes to the development of the community,” he said.
Ramatlhakwane also said the kgotla is the mouthpiece of the majority and it is where everyone have the opportunity to have their opinion heard. “This is the third year in a row and we have consistently issued stamps without delay,” he said.
He said the stamp is a sensitive printed item and a commodity kept under safe conditions. “It’s a powerful document because it transmits information,” he said. Ramatlhakwane added that BotswanaPost has been working with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development in order to empower the youth.
Explaining each stamp, he said the traditional adjudication stamp represents the kgotla as the traditional meeting place within the community. Ramatlhakwane said the kgotla plays an important role in discussions and dispute resolution
As for the information dissemination stamp, he said the government officials mostly use public assemblies to discuss important issues, policies and legislation with the community. “This is viewed as a democratic process in which the village leadership would consult with the community who have the right to express their views and concerns,” he said. He indicated that feedback from such gatherings is used to influence policy-making decisions at a national level.
He said the coronation of a chief stamp displays the enthronement of a female kgosi to show that culture and tradition is dynamic and not static. “During coronation, the new kgosi is ushered in by the regiment. The traditional leopard/lion skin that is draped around the shoulders of the kgosi is a sign of authority and respect,” he said.
Ramatlhakwane said the fourth stamp, which is dikgafela harvest celebration, celebrates the traditional appeasement ceremony meant to thank the ancestors for the rains and harvest. “Elderly women carry pots of traditional beer and baskets of harvest on their heads to the communal silos at the kgotla,” he said.