FRANCISTOWN: Troubled waters are being stirred in Sebina as jostling for position intensifies following the end of Kgosi Kgakanyane Sebina’s five-year sub-tribal authority term on September 29.
The dispute, which the tribal authorities are aware of, is over a kgotla known as BB1which is under the control of Bamangwato tribe from Serowe. According to legend and some Sebina residents, the Bangwato chiefs built the kgotla as their resting place on their way from Serowe to Nswazwi during their battle with Bakalanga ba-ka-Nswazwi.
Mmegi has leant that following the expiry of Sebina’s contract, village elders from Sebina and surrounding villages started positioning themselves to succeed him since the person who occupies it is not determined by royalty but by election. “Kgosi Sebina wants to divert from normal procedure and choose a person he knows to succeed him,” said one source.
Without necessarily admitting to wanting to appoint his own man, Kgosi Sebina, in response to the accusations said: “Ke Kgosi gake a tshwanelwa go tlhophelwa kgosi (As a chief, no one is to determine my successor) and therefore after my departure, I have to leave somebody in office to lead the people”.
He, however, said that the issue is still being discussed by the Bamangwato royal house since they have authority over BB1, adding that indeed his term of office has expired. He said that he was unhappy that some people have started campaigning to succeed him even though he has not officially vacated his position.
“Some people are disrespecting me. Next week Monday, I will be addressing a Kgotla meeting with dikgosi from neighbouring villages about this matter,” said Sebina. Asked about the dispute, Bangwato regent Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane said that he does not know the cause of the confusion.
He explained that Dikgosi for BB1 kgotla alternates between residents of Marapong, Nshakazhogwe, Marobela, Kombani and Sebina who have in the past benefitted from the arrangement. Kgamane stated that procedurally, the next Kgosi, is nominated and voted for by the villagers.
The Bangwato regent revealed that they recently visited the villages to notify residents that Kgosi Sebina’s term of office had expired, and that after a notice from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), they would return to receive nominations for the post.
Kgamane asked for calmness and patience, saying there was no need for people to be fighting over this position, as procedures are there to be followed. He however, was not surprised by the dispute, noting that nowadays when there is a vacant position of a kgosi, there is jostling for power.
“We have realised that in some cases, people who do not come from the royal family fight for these positions. We suspect that because nowadays the dikgosi are paid by government, some people are motivated by money and greed to claim what does not belong to them,” said Kgamane.