Former mayor of Francistown and current specially-elected councillor Peter Ngoma has staked a claim in Zwenshambe chieftainship following the recently passed judgment which nullified the decision by former Minister of local government Margaret Nasha to pick the Chabale family as the rightful heirs.
Although villagers in Zwenshambe have vowed to support Moses Mabutho, who, until the High Court judgement recently, was the village Kgosi, Ngoma has informed Northern Extra in an exclusive interview that he is the rightful Kgosi of Zwenshambe. He said that in 1979, his forefathers were tricked into handing over the Bogosi baton to Masilo Ngubalane. According to him, Chabale was tricked to give way to Ngubalane after being told that, for one to be a chief, one has to know how to read and write. Ngoma says that the patriarch of the clan relinquished the chieftainship to Ngubalane with the hope that when the time comes, he will give way in favour of someone from the Chabale family.
Ngoma said that the decision to trick his forefathers to temporarily relinquish power to Ngubalane was fueled by greed as those who initiated it knew very well that the government was about to pay all chiefs in the country a salary hence they applied dirty tricks to deprive them of their rightful inheritance. “When Masilo retired in 2007, I was the next to be the chief, but I declined and instead temporarily handed over to Mabutho who was by then employed by Botswana Meat Commission. I made it known to the concerned villagers and family members who had wanted me to take it from there that I was still a politician and will take over the throne when the right time comes,” he explained.
When quizzed about the current court order which disqualified the Chabale family from the Bogosi , he said that a majority of Zwenshambe villagers are behind the Chabale family as they know them from time immemorial to be the rightful claimants to the contested chieftainship. He said that they have appealed the recent decision of the High Court as it leaves a lot to be desired.
Ngoma is confident that the Chabale family will emerge victorious. “The good part about the judgment is that it has also given villagers a chance to elect their leader at a Kgotla meeting, something he believes many supportive villagers will use to put the Chabales back into power as shown by continued support for the family in the matter, he said.