FRANCISTOWN: A politician-turned aspiring traditional leader has inexplicably been barred from assuming the functions of a Kgosi in Tati Siding.
No one is wiling to shed light into how former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP), councillor Kopano Maruping was abruptly stopped from turning up for work at Tati Siding Customary court.
The former councillor for Tati Siding ward in the Tati East constituency, also made a political sourjon to Botswana Congress Party.
Maruping was apparently elected into office by the people of Tati Siding village to deputise the current village chief, Simon Nkgageng in January this year. A reliable source in the village told Mmegi that following Maruping’s election, tribal authorities who conducted the elections informed villagers that Maruping’s name would be taken to the minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane for vetting.
Tsogwane said he was in a meeting when called by Mmegi to give his ministry’s side of the story. According to the Bogosi Act, a person who is appointed to be a tribal leader or his deputy should not have committed any criminal act. The Act states that the Minister may permit a Kgosi who has attained the age of 80 years to continue in office for such period as he or she may consider appropriate.
Section 10 of the Bogosi Act reads: “(1) A Kgosi may, with the approval of the Minister, and after consultation with his or her tribe at a Kgotla meeting, appoint any person as Mothusa Kgosi and such appointment shall be published in the Gazette. (2) No person shall be appointed as Mothusa Kgosi unless the Kgosi and the Minister are satisfied that that person possesses attributes which qualify him or
The source said, “On Tuesday, officials from the tribal authority department convened a meeting at the village Kgotla to inform the villagers about the outcome of the elections following Maruping’s election.” The authorities, the source said, then startlingly told them that Maruping cannot assume the position of the village’s deputy chief. No reason was proferred. “They left us puzzled as to why Maruping can’t deputise Nkgageng.
We are still in the dark (on) why he was barred from becoming the village’s deputy chief. They then informed us that another plebiscite would be held on March 23 to choose Nkgageng’s deputy,” the source explained.
When contacted for comment, Kgosi Nkgageng could not disclose reasons for barring of his deputy during the meeting which was held in public. Perhaps to ensure, Nkgageng curtly said: “This is an internal matter that cannot be shared with the public. I was also not told why Maruping was barred from becoming my deputy. The person best suited to answer that question is an official from the tribal authority, Mma Rakoma. It is better for you to call her.”
Mmegi managed to trace Mma Rakoma who immediately declined, saying: “I don’t have answers to the questions you want to ask me concerning that issue”. Maruping could not be reached at the time of going to press.
Maruping is a former BPP councillor at Tati Siding who defected to the BDP in the 1980s. In 2015 he re-joined the BPP where he held the position of national chairperson before retracing his steps back to the BDP.