The MP for Maun West, Kgosi Tawana Moremi, has accused the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) of fueling tribalism in Ngamiland. He blamed BDP members for inciting tribalism during 2014 general elections by telling members of Bayei tribe not to vote for him because he hates them. Moremi made the accusation during a recent Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) party rally in Maun. Moremi, who is also the paramount chief of Batawana - dominant tribe in Ngamiland, said such claims were made by the then Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Lebonamang Mokalake in 2014.
“If such claims are said by influential persons like the minister it will create an impression from an ordinary person that indeed I hate them but the truth is that I don’t hate Bayei tribe,” he said. Moremi said the BDP strategy to decampaign him did not work as Bayei proved them wrong by voting for him in large numbers. “I was voted by high numbers at Boyei ward where a lot of Bayei are found in Maun,” Moremi said, adding that in Ngamiland there are many tribes such as Bayei, Bambukushu, Baherero but he does not prevent them from recognising their chiefs. “I don’t have a problem with Bayei recognizing their chiefs than Batawana and I urge them to respect their chiefs,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the recent kgotla meeting he was addressing at Kubung ward in Maun, Moremi urged Batawana to accept Government’s decision to recognise Bayei as an independent tribe. He said that development should unite Batawana and Bayei than to divide them. Over the years Bayei tribe have been battling for recognition. Through their Kamanakao cultural association, Bayei have successfully fought at times through court cases against the state sanctioned tribal discrimination of the so-called minor tribes in Botswana.