Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Government, Botlogile Tshireletso, says consultations are ongoing over the return to Botswana of Bakgatla paramount chief Kgosi Kgafela II. She was responding to an enquiry from MP for Mochudi East, Moagi Molebatsi who wanted an update after President Mokgweetsi Masisi recently told Bakgatla his government is working tirelessly to return Kgafela home, hence this week in parliament
Molebatsi had challenged the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to explain when government intends to lift-de-recognition of Kgafela II following Masisi’s promises recently. He indicated that the government should accede to president’s promises cautioning against the use of Kgosi Kgafela II’s name as way of enticing Bakgatla to solicit votes for BDP in elections
Tshireletso said she cannot state with certainty when government will lift de-recognition of Kgosi Kgafela II pending consultations which involve numerous government departments.
She said reversing the de-recognition has to be done the legal way. "In October 2011, Government took a decision to invoke provisions of Section 15 (b) of the Bogosi Act Chapter 41:01,in the public interest, to de-recognise Kgosi Kgafela II of the Bakgatla Tribe with immediate effect,” Tshireletso added.
In this regard, she said Kgosi Kgafela II was thereafter neither allowed to exercise nor perform any power or official duties relating to Tribal Administration structures in the Kgatleng District.
Masisi told Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela last month during a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) National Congress held in Mochudi that government is considering to bring back home their paramount chief, Kgosi Kgafela II. Masisi at the congress also graced by Bakgatla regent, Kgosi Bana Sekai, said he will not rest until Kgafela returns home from exile. Although Masisi not elaborating clearly how government will ensure that Kgafela returns despite repeated promises earlier, he insisted that his government values Bogosi institution.
Govt unfulfilled promises
Molebatsi also blasted government for not acceding to its promises made before over the return of KgosiKgolo Kgafela II. He recalled the minister that government at some point in 2016 represented by vice president Slumber Tsogwane formerly minister of local government, made promise to lift-de-recognition of Kgosi Kgafela II.
Molebatsi expressed dissatisfactions that up to this time, government is still reluctant to resolve its standoff amicably with Kgafela, hence warning BDP against campaigning by using Kgafela II’s name. ‘‘Kgosi Kgafela II’s issue is very sensitive and a disheartening to us Bakgatla. I want government to fulfill its promise as per president Masisi’s public declaration to return him home. We hope he is not being used for political mileage because Bakgatla will not be easily manipulated,” he said.