Of tribal feuds and Bogosi

Somewhere in this edition we carry a story about tribal feud between Basubiya and Batawana of Chobe over some land that each tribe claims ownership of.


So bad is the feud that Basubiya have banned Batawana from ever setting foot in the protested piece of land pending some investigations into the matter by the District commissioner.


The Chobe vs Batawana feud comes at a time when further south, Batlokwa and Bakgatla are reported to be fighting over land, each accusing the other of trespassing. The matter that has pitted the two bogosi of Batlokwa and Bakgatla has reached the Ministry of Local Government headquarters.


There is also a raging tribal feud in Oodi, some 26 km from Gaborone, where Batlokwa of the same village and Bakgatla of the locality are at loggerheads over the chieftaincy of the village, each claiming to have the birthright to the bogosi. Apparently senior Bakgatla leader, Segale, was chased from the Oodi kgotla by the Batlokwa when he recently tried to preside over the case.


These are not the only burning tribal feuds in the country. These types of feuds characterize the tribal setting of our country and they do not seem to be going away.


The common feuds include the  Kamanakao in Maun fighting for independence from Batawana, Bafurutshe in the Gabane-Mankgodi region fighting for their own hegemony, Babirwa  feuding over who is the rightful heir to the throne, Or Bakgatla  ba Mmanaana in Moshupa-Thamaga, trying to break from Kanye supremacy, the examples are endless.


The question is will these tribal feuds ever die down, or better still, what is the best possible way to reaching an amicable solution to these types of tribal wars?


If left unattended these feuds have in them the sparks that could trigger a conflagration of eruptions that we may not be able to defuse with ease.


Maybe it is time we look into our constitution and investigate how far it is responsible for flaming those fires of tribalism, with the aim of coming up with a forward thinking, tribal neutral constitution that recognizes that in our democracy the constitution, even the bogosi Act, should not be seen to be creating the big eight tribes and subsidiaries, as it is the case with the constitution that was adopted at independence.


However the dream tribally neutral constitution cannot be arrived at without the willingness and the full participation and adoption by the major tribes, for that in itself has the potential to cause shockwaves as well.

Editor's Comment
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