This week we continue our historical examination of Chobe District, which over the centuries has served as a crossroads linking the wealth of central and southern Africa across the Chobe and Zambezi rivers.

In our last instalment, we had noted that the emergence of the Malozi kingdom coincided with the break-up of the Vekuhane monarchy. Toward the end of Sipopo's reign in 1876, Munitenge Liswani II, along with most of his followers, fled from his long-time residence at Impalira Island to the Gammangwato polity of modern Botswana.

The Bangwato ruler, Kgosi Khama III, settled the Vekuhane refugees at Tsienyane on the Boteti River near Rakops. At the time Liswani II is said to have feared that Sipopo planned to have him assassinated and replaced by either Chika or Maiba, sons of Liswani I. After Liswani II's flight, his sister Ntolwe remained as a sub-chief at Isuswa. Her son was Mwanamwali succeeded her as the senior Vekuhane ruler in the Malozi kingdom, resettling at Sesheke. Following Liswani II’s flight, competing claims to the position of Munitenge were fuelled by the community's shift from matrilineal to patrilineal descent, which apparently came about due to both internal and external pressure, as well as the emergence of colonial boundaries. Despite Liswani II's suspicions, both Maiba and Chika settled with him at Tsienyane until on or about the time of his death in 1901.

Editor's Comment
Gov’t, Balete should bury the hatchet

The acrimony that seemingly characterised the relationship between the Malete Land Board on behalf of the Botswana government and Kgosi Mosadi Seboko and the tribe, should now be water under the bridge as the tribe has finally gotten what it has been fighting for - the land.Kgosi Mosadi has articulated an instance upon which she was allegedly summoned to the State House by the Head of State, Mokgweetsi Masisi where the former claimed she was...

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