Divided by mis-trust

Cathrine Moemedi
FRUSTRATED: Kehemetswe Saozo, DISAPPOINTED: Kamogelo Keheletswe

Tension is building up among a small population of 360 people in Ditshiping village due to an ongoing fiasco between two development trusts in the village, Honey Guide Adventure Trust (HGAT) and Okavango Kopano Mokoro Community Trust (OKMCT).

At the core of the division is membership of these two trusts. While Honey Guide has won a high court case to break away from OKMCT and maintains that all Ditshiping residents are its members, some residents are allegedly resisting the change and wants to remain members of OKMCT.

In fact, the latest division played out at the village kgotla last week where the community was to nominate its desired tribal leader. The nominated name was to be forwarded to Maun tribal authority to allow for formal appointment of the kgosi.

Ditshiping has been without a tribal leader since the passing of Kgosi Chief Galebotse Tshekonyana two years ago.

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Nonetheless, with three names brought forth, the community could not elect any but instead turned the meeting into a verbal warfare with accusations that the men belonged to factions related to the said trusts.

“We have been here all day and, as you can see, no progress is being made. We were tasked with coming up with one name and, if we fail, the leadership will choose one for us,” complained one resident, Kehemetswe Saozo, at the kgotla.

Saozo’s concern was that the delegates from the main kgotla in Maun had instructed them to come up with one name to be considered for appointment as village chief and the arguments over unrelated matters were not helping them in any way.

Among the contenders are Monnatshipi Boikago, who is said to be the late chief’s brother and belonging to Honey Guide factions and Sebilone Mmolokiemang, allegedly sympathetic towards OKMCT while Kakwenga Keemekae is said to be only an in-law in Ditshiping and originally from Shakawe village.

Divided by mis-trust
DITSHIPING VDC CHAIRMAN: Lekopanye Ngwanawanoka

According to Ditshiping Village Development Committee (VDC) Chairman, Lekopanye Ngwanawanoka, the reason why the residents are angry is that they were deceived into believing that if the village breaks away from OKMCT to run their own trust, they will all suffer while some blame Honey Guide for taking a decision to break away from OKMCT without proper consultation.

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“Some members of the community still wish to work with OKMCT, currently there are over 100 people who are in opposition of Honey Guide because they feel Honey Guide lodged a complaint on their own, not representing the interests of the community. Others believe OKMCT’s time is up and it is time for them to handover,” revealed Ngwanawanoka.

In the meantime, another resident, Kamogelo Keheletswe, expressed her dissatisfaction at the people of Ditshiping for waging war against each other over an issue that could be resolved by handing over the chieftaincy to Monnaatshipi Boikago, who happens to be Galebotse Tshekonyana’s brother.

“They are just delaying, that Keemekae they want us to vote for is a foreigner. He is originally from Shakawe and got married to one of our own. All he needs to do is to take his wife and go back to his home village, that is where he can stand a chance to be a chief, not here,” said Keheletswe, adding that OKMCT is campaigning for the “in-law” to win even when they know that he is not from Ditshiping.

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At the end, no chief was elected as, for the third time, residents failed to reach a unanimous vote.

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