Lentswe la Batswapong Association (LLB), a non-governmental and apolitical organisation has been inundated with complaints from most Batswapong who disagree with what Prince Maele of Lerala-Maunatlala Constituency uttered at a kgotla meeting in Goo-Moremi on November, 16 2018.
Under normal circumstances we would not respond to such utterances but after considering that the remarks were made at a public sacred place –kgotla, we feel obliged to respond lest the MP’s utterances are misconstrued to be indicative of the views of Batswapong in general.
While we recognise that under a democracy such as ours, the MP is entitled to his opinion, we however find the utterances reprehensible. After collating opinions of Batswapong and seeking wisdom from many quarters we therefore conclude that:
(1) What Maele uttered bordered on politicking at a kgotla in Goo-Moremi. “…Kgosikgolo o tsogetswe ke dipuo...ditsoswa ke batho ba bangwe ba a neng a ba tataisa…Lefa baka ntima maemo…Ke eme tsi! Le kgosi- kgolo”
“…Hae le gore baa ago tlhorontsha o siele ko Lerala-Maunatlala re tla go sireletsa,” Maele said at the kgotla meeting. He went further to say “Prince Maele mopalamente wa Lerala- Maunatlala le ba ga bone bare ha e le sengwe tlang ka ditlhobolo re hano, rona re eme tsi, le ha le ka reng yo ke wa rona...”
(ii) Utterances above are far from nation building and do not promote stability of the nation.
(iii) We therefore remind Maele that the sanctity of the kgotla has to be respected. Our forefathers who pioneered the kgotla system taught us that it is not a place for partisan politics. Maele uttered those remarks fully aware that there are political differences between the former President Ian Khama (who was present at the kgotla meeting) and the incumbent President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
(iv) Our forefathers who include the first President, Sir Seretse Khama, taught us that the kgotla and those that preside over it ought to always remember one of their core functions of uniting the nation. To say Lerala-Maunatlala is a place where the former president can seek refuge is like giving him the leeway to cause trouble and that Batswapong would give him shelter is disappointing and not reflective of the wishes and intentions of Batswapong.
(v) According to information shared publicly by the former President and the incumbent President, their differences do not emanate from issues of bogosi.
Theirs are purely political. We strongly frown upon the kgotla being brought into such.
(vi) Batswapong are pro-unity of the nation and protection of the bogosi institution; something we expect our Members of Parliament and magosi to encourage.
(vii) As Batswapong we subscribe to the incumbent President of the Republic of Botswana being supported, respected and protected regardless of religion, gender, party; a practice that has been there since the country gained independence, and that every aspiring and incumbent MPs and all leaders of society are obviously aware of.
(viii) The MP also seemed to be excited about referring to his friend as his Kgosi-Kgolo; what ever that meant!
(ix) We don’t know where this nomenclature is coming from, as it is not recognised by law in this country. It is a tittle used by those who want to either pledge their loyalty at all costs or for some other reasons best known to them.
(x) We therefore request Maele to issue a public apology.
Shine Namane (Mobile: 71747547)
Chairman – Lentswe la Batswapong Association