A call of nature

Kabelo Dipholo

Mystery caller ends Borolong/Chadibe bogosi meeting

There seems to be no solution in sight for an old border dispute between the residents of Borolong and Chadibe.

The two villages have been at each other’s throats over a stretch of land nestled between Thalogang River and the railway line.

While Borolong residents claim the ward they call Shongochena is in their village, Chadibe residents are adamant the ward is called Dikgatho and is rightfully theirs.

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With a combined population of over 10, 000, the dispute has been a stumbling block in the two villages’ development, in particular the area in dispute.

Chadibe royals insist that the boundary of the two villages is Thalogang River, a claim disputed in Borolong who believe the boundary to be the railway line.

This stand-off resulted in the freezing of all plot allocations in Shongochena/Dikgatho because both the Tonota -Sub Land Board, which services Borolong, and the Marapong- Sub Land Board, which services Chadibe, claim the area is disputed.

At its worst, the dispute was the cause of many double allocations, including a 16-hectare plot earmarked for the construction of a brigade.

Interventions from as far back as 2011 by the then Minister of Local Government, Lebonaamang Mokalake, and Bangwato Regent, Sediegeng Kgamane have failed.

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On the 10th of January, Kgosi Bokamoso Radipitse of Tonota convened a meeting at Thalogang Junior Secondary School, which ironically is considered ‘neutral ground’ as it stands on the disputed area.

At the meeting, attended by residents of both villages, Radipitse told the gathering that the agenda of the day was to vote for the headman of Shongochena/Dikgatho by show of hands.

To compete for the coveted chieftainship role were to be Keletso Mpatane from Borolong and Wina Namakando from Chadibe.

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“I want to reiterate that today’s meeting is not about who the area belongs to. We are simply going to vote by a show of hands who’ll take over the leadership role of Shongochena/Dikgatho,” explained Kgosi Radipitse.

This, however, did not sit well with the Borolong contingent led by their Kgosi Israel Molema, who told Radipitse that they submitted Mpatane as their preferred candidate to take over the chieftainship of Shongochena over eight years ago.

Molema said Mpatane was unveiled to his tribe in August 2011 and her name dully sent to Tonota for approval.

“We learnt later that our minutes were outdated and ordered to re-do the unveiling process which we did in May 2018. We were shocked because we never knew Kgotla meeting minutes could expire,” fired Molema.

The seemingly unimpressed Borolong Chief told Kgosi Radipitse, who’s his senior, that his tribe would not take part in the voting process since there’s a pending court case before the Francistown High Court in which Chadibe leadership are challenging the boundary of the two villages.

FULL HOUSE: Residents inside the hall

“We’re not going to vote because we’ve already sent a name,” he reiterated, adding defiantly, “We can’t vote for a chief at a secondary school when we have a Kgotla that we to address all issues concerning our village.”

A bemused Chadibe Chief, Kgosi Mmoloki Kajata, who clearly wanted the vote to go ahead, attracted murmurs from the packed hall when he declared Dikgatho has been a ward under Chadibe for as far as he can remember.

“In my knowledge, Borolong and Chadibe are divided by Thalogang River. I’m not an elected chief. I was born a chief and I know the lineage of Chadibe chieftainship,” he maintained.

It was at this point that Kgosi Radipitse slid outside to take a call. He returned a few minutes later and ordered that the meeting be stopped immediately.

“I just received a call from the people who sent me here. I won’t say who but they ordered me to stop this meeting, but I’m also not in a position to disclose why this meeting has to be stopped,” announced Radipitse, news that was greeted with stunned silence.

However, as the crowd dispersed, murmurs of dissatisfaction and confusion could be heard as the dispute once again remains unresolved, thanks this time to the mystery caller.

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