The Batawana traditional leaders have once again imposed a six months marriage ban on those intending to tie the knot between now and March next year, Batawana Regent Kealetile Moremi has said. The ban, however, is not supported by the District Commissioner’s office who continue to register marriages.
Moremi told this publication that though their wishes were for all Batawana to shelf their wedding plans until the lapse of the ban, so as to allow for the ploughing season to proceed as planned, it would seem the tribe have received the news with mixed reactions. According to Moremi, while some may have heeded the call and postponed their wedding plans, some individuals have since ignored it and went ahead with registering their intent to marry with the District commissioner.
“The District Commissioner continues to register marriages and there is nothing we can do, “ she said.
Moremi however said as traditional leaders, they will not allow any customary marriages to be registered with them. The Batawana Royals and the District Commissioner’s office had an unwritten agreement to hold marriage registrations at the main Batawana Kgotla, the idea it is said was to embed as much traditional values as possible in the marriage institution as possible. But According to Kgosi Moremi, the district commissioner have since gone back on the agreement and moved the event back to their offices. “ Because we couldn’t agree on the decision to temporarily ban marriage registrations they packed and went back to their offices last year and have not come back ever since,” Moremi said.
According to Moremi their efforts to increase the number of people engaging in the traditional ‘ploughing of fields activity or arable farming was fruitful as indeed more people in the area did heed the call and ploughed their fields and reaped quite a satisfactory harvest . “ Re dikile re jele hela thata,” said Kealetile. Adding that she hopes the same outcome will be realised this year.
The ban upon its introduction caused quite a stir among locals. While those who had scheduled their weddings for the said period complained that the ban was going to mess up their plans. various businesses in Maun were also up in arms and poured scorn on the Batawana Royals decision to ban marriages. entrepreneurs, whose wedding-related businesses were at the time at the fore front of launching a campaign to request Kgosi Kealetile to rescind the decision.
Efforts to get a comment from the District Commissioners’ offices proved futile as she was said to be engaged with other duties.