Khama is coming back

The wedge between Bagammangwato and the government was driven deeper this past weekend as a group called Balwelakgosi clashed with police over the use of the Serowe Main Kgotla.

The celebratory mood earlier on the day in Serowe at the Sir Seretse Khama half Marathon diminished when security personnel clashed with the group that demands the immediate return of former president Ian Khama.

According to Chairperson of Balwelakgosi, Ronald Mojakgomo, Bangwato have decided that they will get what they want by any means necessary. If Kgosi Serogola or the government deny them access to their kgotla they will forcefully march down to the kgotla and use it because it is theirs.

Mojakgomo said they are fed up with the absence of their ‘Kgosikgolo’ and they demand that he be allowed to come back at once without any legal repercussions.

The group wanted to get into the kgotla to clean it in preparation for celebrating the legacy of the founding President of Botswana. They also wanted to discuss pressing issues pertaining to the tribe. Mojakgomo admitted that they did not have permission to get inside the kgotla but they have been asking for permission for months with Kgosi Serogola refusing them access. When the group got to the kgotla they were ordered to disperse in the name of the president and an altercation ensued in which some of the members were arrested.

Balwelakgosi is a group largely made up of elderly people. According to Segomotso Morolong from Serowe as Bangwato they demand that their Kgotla be opened and that they choose a Kgosi that Ian Khama wants. She said that the government is meddling in their issues as a tribe and they even reject simple things such as a peaceful march. Morolong said that as a tribe, their hands were tied as they have tried all available avenues to reason with the government.

Morolong said she is shocked that the police attacked them and beat old ladies when they were complying. She wonders if the government is so heartless as to attack defenceless old people. When the group leaders were arrested the remaining members broke into song and danced at the former President Khama’s home. Not demoralised by the arrests, they continued singing as they waited for an update on the day’s activities.

The group which is led by Mojakgomo told Botswana Guardian that their mandate was weaved by Bangwato from all corners of the tribe and they will fight for what they want. The concerns have been penned down by the uncles of Ian Khama as they released a public statement on the 1st of July which addressed the tension between President Masisi’s administration and Khama.

The statement states that the Masisi regime has been accused of attempting to undermine Khama's birthright and status as the recognised Kgosi of Gammangwato, infringing on his constitutional rights. Additionally, the administration has allegedly deployed armed police to disrupt royal Kgotla meetings, preventing Bagammangwato from conducting tribal consultations and peaceful assemblies.

There have also been claims of illegal detentions and harassment of Khama's family members, leading to their departure from Botswana for safety reasons.

The Uncles mention the collapse of the P100 billion theft allegations against Khama and the withdrawal of related charges against senior public officers who refused to falsely implicate him. Furthermore, recent constitutional changes are seen as targeted at former President Khama, further escalating tensions.

The uncles confirm that Khama will return to Botswana soon, and they hold President Masisi accountable for any consequences of his actions.