Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dikgosi key to nation building - Khama

source: Republic of Botswana (6/2/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 1 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"

C 10) 5/2/10: Dikgosi key to nation building - Khama

GABORONE - President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has said dikgosi should play an active role in building the country as well as the nation moral fibre.

The responsibility, the President said, should not be left to the political leadership alone.
Addressing Ntlo Ya Dikgosi members in a consultative meeting, that brought together the tribal leaders and members of the cabinet in Gaborone yesterday, Lt Gen. Khama said dikgosi have a pivotal role to play in the society.
However, he was worried that they were unable to execute their duties at times because of limited powers.
President Khama noted that since the release of a report undertaken by some dikgosi and priests, regarding unfavourable public moral standing, a lot needed to be done.

He, however, said as a way forward, he met with the chairman of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, Kgosi Puso, and requested him to solicit some suggestions from dikgosi on how best they could be empowered to deal with critical issues directly affecting the nation.

In his response, Kgosi Puso thanked government for recognising the importance of dikgosi in the society, adding that it was also a welcome gesture that the President continued to engage and afford them a platform where they could discuss issues of national interest with cabinet. Kgosi Puso said he was hopeful that their engagement with ministers on nation building issues would yield positive results.

The Batlokwa kgosi kgolo said he has lately informed the Vice President, Lt Gen. Mompati Merafhe and Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Ms Lesego Motsumi, about what he termed "disturbing conditions of service for dikgosi". This, he said, impacted negatively on their performance.

Kgosi Puso also said they had long wanted their rules and procedures in Ntlo ya Dikgosi to be amended so that they could run their business smoothly.

On other issues, he informed the President about the Botswana Local Police and Botswana Police Service merger saying it has created a chaotic situation at customary courts resulting in the disruption of administration duties.
Meanwhile, Gen. Merafhe acknowledged problems faced by dikgosi, but said he had consulted with Kgosi Puso regarding the matter. He, however, regretted that some constraints required financial solution while others needed working together. BOPA

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