Acting chief accused of clinging to power

Francinah Baaitse
DEMANDING CHIEFTANCY: Late Kgosi Sekopo's daughters

Rightful heir pressurises uncle to step down

A Chanoga village acting chief who seems reluctant to give up the seat to its rightful heir was recently summoned to a Tribal Administration Offices in Maun to show cause why he should not be taken to task over allegations of refusal to hand over power.

Kgosi Oateng Sethodi of Chanoga village was put under pressure to step down from chieftaincy following complaints that he has been refusing to give way for Chanoga’s former chief’s son, Kabo Sekopo 31, whom he has been acting for since 2012.

Sethodi has denied the allegations. “Yes I am aware of the said complaints and allegations, but the truth is I have never refused to step down. I know I am acting on behalf of the said family, It is my uncle, the now late Thapietsile Sekopo who asked me to take over the post when his son was still young.”

However the regent chief will not step down right away as requested by his uncle. “I have asked for guidance from bogosi because the person who was complaining is now late. The Kgotla will advice me on way forward.”

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In 2012, Kgosi Sekopo who was retiring from office, asked Sethodi who is his sister’s son, to hold fort as his children especially his boy child, Kabo were young.

The 90-year- old Kgosi Sekopo had three children, two daughters, Oaboloka Sekopo 39, Seolebaleng Kenosi 45, and a son, Kabo Sekopo.

According to the Sekopo family when the old man retired the daughters were not willing to take over the chieftaincy role, hence he had to ask his nephew, Sethodi to hold fort since Kabo was under age.

Speaking from the family home in Disana ward in Maun this week, the late chief’s daughter Seolebaleng Kenosi explained that she was old enough but she was getting into marriage and therefore did not want to go into chieftaincy as well.

As years progressed their father’s health deteriorated from a terminal illness and he wanted to ensure that his son takes over the chieftaincy from Sethodi as he had come of age, “Our father kept asking for a meeting with Sethodi, but Sethodi kept avoiding him. He would pass by and pretend to be too busy and in a hurry and he never gave the old man or the rest of the family a chance to discuss the chieftaincy issue with him.”

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This is said to have caused distress for the ailing man such that last week Tuesday he decided to write a letter to Batawana Paramount Chief, Kgosi Tawana Moremi regarding the issue and noted that he wants his seat back, “I have tried to call Sethodi to a meeting so we can sit down and discuss this subject, but he has refused, that is why I have written to you so that you can help me Kgosi (Chief).”

The letter was allegedly hand delivered to Kgosi Moremi by the ailing Kgosi Sekopo who could not even come out of the vehicle due to ill health.

“He was critically ill, but he so desperately wanted to talk to kgosikgolo and we agreed to take him there. He wanted to deliver the letter in person,” further explained Kenosi.

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The following day, Wednesday, June,5. 2024, the old man is said to have expressed how relieved he was to have delivered the letter and discussed the chieftaincy issue with kgosikgolo before he breathed his last.

He was laid to rest on Thursday 13, June 2024.

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