The MP for Maun West Tawana Moremi will not contest 2019 General Elections and has chosen instead to resume his tribal duties as the paramount chief of Batawana. While announcement didn’t come as a shock to many people, as Moremi has long indicated that he will be stepping down from politics, a number of behind the scenes developments led to that decision. Highly placed sources have revealed that when Tawana was going through a tumultuously time in his political career, President Ian Khama is said to have called him and advised him to quit politics. In the last session of parliament, Tawana hardly attended Parliament and would sometimes come dressed in un-parliamentary way, something that had legislators across the aisle worried. “Moremi’s condition worried President Khama as he felt that he was failing his cousin though he (Moremi) sometimes attacks him in public,” said a senior BDP MP. Though they have their political differences those close to the two have revealed that they meet regularly to discuss issues, especially that deal with their families. President Khama raised Moremi, teaching him to be a man of principles. President Khama is also the godfather to Tawana’s son Leatile. When Tawana announced last year that he was resigning from the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) many thought he will either join the ruling party Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) or step down as an MP but he chose to remain an independent MP. His decision was prompted by his dislike of the unprincipled politicians in the opposition ranks. Sources within government and BDP have revealed that Tawana has been promised that his lodge will be refurbished and he will be given a campsite in the delta as a package to leave politics and create a future for his children.
No more drinking
“But he was given a condition to abide by the doctor’s recommendation and quit alcohol and live a sober life,” said a source close to the deal. Tawana has since publicly admitted that he is now living a sober life and won’t be going back to drinking. A Chinese contractor that was building the new Thamalakane Bridge refurbished Tawana’s guest house. In February 2014 the Office of the President issued a directive transferring 13 tourists’ sites within the Okavango Delta from Tawana Land Board to the central government. These included Moremi Game Reserve. Batawana didn’t take kindly to the decision and threatened to take a legal route in order to reclaim their land. Last year Tawana made it clear that he has personal stake in the Moremi Game Reserve that is part of what is called the Chief’s Island. He said that the land is his inheritance as the reason it was named Moremi was because it was once the sole hunting preserve of Kgosi Mathiba, who is his forefather. The area stretches 70 kilometres and 15 kilometres wide and is home to Wilderness Safaris’ famed Mombo Camp located in the Mombo Concession of the reserve, and is a ‘predator capital of Africa’ – a mecca for international tourists. Efforts to get comment from Moremi were futile as both of his mobile phones were off air.
Dikgosi welcome Tawana’s decision
From Maun Solomon Tjinyeka says tribal leaders in Ngamiland have praised Kgosi Tawana Moremi‘s decision to leave politics and resume tribal duties. Moremi’s announcement was welcomed with standing ovation by his subjects. Kgosi Koketso Rabosigo, Headman of Arbitration at Shasheng, praised Moremi’s decision, saying they have been longing for his return. “I am happy that at long last Kgosi has decided to come back to where he belongs,” he said. He said during Moremi‘s tenure he had a good working relationship with other Dikgosi and taught them a lot as he understands the law much better. “Kgosi is knowledgeable and will advise us better because he has been at the Parliament where decisions are taken,” Rabosigo said. Kgosi Rabosigo also added that the absence of Kgosi at Bogosi created a gap and had a negative impact in the Batawana tribal authority. “Everyone is happy including the community that Kgosi is finally back,” he said Kgosi Gokgathang Moalosi of Sankoyo also welcomed Moremi’s decision. He said Moremi had a good working relation with Dikgosana, recalling that it was Kgosi Moremi who installed him when he ascended the position of Kgosi in 1999. He stressed that Moremi‘s return to Bogosi will add value because he commands a lot of respect. Kgosi Moalosi also believes that Moremi will help them resolves some of the issues better.