Former Mayor of Jwaneng, also a former Botswana National Front (BNF) councillor, Moshe “Bushman” Gare, says the name Botswana is inappropriate and tribalistic.
In his written submission to the Constitutional Review Commission, Gare says countries should be named after great landmarks or their geographical position on the continent. He sees the vastness of the Kgalagadi Desert as qualifying it to give its name to this country.
In the document signed by 113 supporters, Gare states that countries such as Nigeria, which was named after the Niger River, Zambia, which was named after the Zambezi River, Zimbabwe named after the Zimbabwe Ruins, Namibia, named after the Namib Desert and South Africa after its geographical position in Africa, did the right thing by staying away from names that promote tribal bigotry.
“You cannot call a Scotsman an Englishman and you cannot call an Englishman a Scotsman but they are both called British. Similarly, you cannot call a Tswana man a Kalanga man and you cannot call a Kalanga man a Tswana but they can both be called Kgalagadi man.’’
He says by the same token, Scotland, Wales and England are covered under the name British and not England. Gare also claims that when the three Dikgosi went to England in 1895 to protest against the territory being given to Cecil John Rhodes, it was suggested that the country should be named Kgalagadi.
“However, the three Dikgosi rejected the proposal saying that being called Bakgalagadi would make them an inferior tribe,” said Gare, who posits that currently, Botswana is named after the eight Tswana-speaking tribes.
“The other tribes that are not Tswana-speaking feel they are being regarded as either nonentities or non-existent. That is why for a long time they have been complaining about discrimination,” said the former councillor, who believes that, “... the next generation is going to name this country Kgalagadi.
”Besides, the name Kgalagadi, which is rich with minerals and wildlife, would promote tourism in the country and generate revenue for the country," he believes.