Umbrella for Democratic Change Councillor for Mosanta ward in Mochudi West, Tona Mooketsi has warned President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi against using the name of Kgosi Kgafela II of Bakgatla to ask for votes. Dr Masisi has for the second time told members of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) that he would not rest until Kgafela II who has fled to Moruleng, South Africa returns home.
He told a BDP National Congress in Mochudi over the weekend that Kgafela II has to return to the warmth of his mother’s home. Kgafela fled the country at the height of his clash with government following his cases of unlawful flogging and escaping from lawful custody. Kgafela II and 14 members of his Madibela Nkwe regiment were in May 2010 dragged before court for illegal flogging in Mochudi.
He was later slapped with another charge of escaping from lawful custody after he disappeared after a court session at Village Magistrate court following a ruling that he should be detained with others including the current acting Chief of Bakgatla Bana Sekai.
Most of the accused persons have settled the matter out of court with the complainants. In May this year President Masisi told a two-day BDP Parliamentary Candidates workshop that his government is working round the clock to ensure the return of Kgafela II.
He explained that as government they need traditional leaders in the running of the country. He told the democrats that for the past years government has been sidelining the traditional leaders something which he said fueled tribalism.
Masisi pointed out that it is time the traditional leaders are brought on board.
Mooketsi told the media this week that if the president is genuine and serious about bringing Kgafela II back to Botswana, he knows exactly what he has to do rather than use political platforms to talk about the matter. He said what the president is doing is just a political stunt. “The president knows that they would have to withdraw the charges against Kgafela II if they are serious about bringing him back home. “What we know is that the warrant of arrest is still in force. This issue is very sensitive and the president should desist from misleading Batswana about it.
“Kgafela II went to Moruleng to protect assets belonging to Bakgatla. Government has tortured our chief and Dr Masisi was part of that administration which went all the way out to frustrate Kgafela II. “It is unfortunate that the president in subjecting our Kgosi to political battle”, he said adding that the president knows the processes and procedures that have to be followed and must stop using political platforms to talk about Kgafela II. Mooketsi pointed out that the BDP wants to use Kgafela to win elections in Kgatleng. He however expressed hope that Kgafela II as a principled man would not buy into Dr Masisi’s public statements.
Masisi told the BDP National Congress that he would spare no efforts to ensure that Kgafela “is embraced in the warm bosom of his mother in Mochudi”. He said it is time Kgafela II returns to his house and country of birth.BDP Communications and International Relations Committee Chairman Kagelelo Kentse said what the president is trying to do has nothing to do with politics. He told this publication that what the UDC councillor said is ill-advised. “The president has been going around the country consulting Batswana, as he has said on the issue of Therisanyo.
“So, this issue emanates from that and it has nothing to do with politics. Bakgatla have expressed without doubt their wish to have their Kgosi back and the president is only lending them an ear. “He will do everything within the confines of the law to have him back”, said Kentse