We are all Batswana and we need order

This weekend we met after a long time at the legendary Motswere tree. Nothing serious was to be discussed. We had our usual traditionally brewed beer to share. The elderly were there to share stories of the yesteryears. The discussion centred mainly on the tradition and the cultural practices that have stood the test of time. We just wondered why in modern times despite known traditional order and protocols some people had developed tendencies to defy such. What has happened to our respect for each other and in particular the respect for lefoko la kgosi? In the past, lefoko la kgosi was held in utmost respect and those who tended to disrespect it were admonished and counselled by their age mates (mophato). If anybody ever went wayward it was incumbent upon his mophato to reign him or her in. We don’t see this nowadays. Instead we have become so westernised that we have become individualistic to care about the communal order we grew up under. The village no longer has a role to play in the bringing up of our children. I sat and listen to those older than me detail out the processes that were followed in traditional governance. Governance and leadership was patriarchal and hereditary. The succession processes were in accordance with seniority of males in the royal house. This was the order throughout the traditional kingdoms. We are told that in the colonial times the order was tempered with. The colonial administrators came up with the concept of divide and rule. This in most cases allowed the colonial administrators to bring in people into leadership because they could be manipulated. Such people were always not the legitimate leaders of any morahe. The traditional order was thus totally distorted. In most cases the colonial appointee would also further distort the succession order of bogosi in the morahe he had been imposed on. Our humble discussion at the Motswere tree focused on the revival of traditional leadership amongst Ba-ga-Malete of Ramotswa. We noted with much excitement that since this morafe defied patriarchal order and brought in a woman kgosi, the other merafe have embraced this. As part of this transformation we have witnessed an increase in revival of our traditional dikgoro and makgotlana. With the multiplicity of chores that a kgosi engages in, and with the behavioural and moral deterioration amidst our societies, the main kgotla can no longer be expected to mediate and arbitrate family disputes alone. Hence the government introduced magosana a go letlanya. This was to allow the centre to be involved in other development issues than semi judicial matters. However this has also become detrimental to our smooth traditional leadership succession. Some people have come out to claim what is traditionally not their role. We at the Motswere tree were all aware that there were some people who want to defy the new order. Such people want to claim that those magosana selected are not legitimate. Sadly one man is running helter skelter amongst dikgotlana to cry injustice to these very magosana. It would appear even those we should be looking to for proper guidance are distorting traditionally patented protocols while in the process contradicting the Bogosi Act. And as they do this, they continue to fuel divisions among our people. It is however important to note that we are still Batswana and we need order.