Botswana: The Kgotla system is a platform for regular discussions, consultations and exchange of ideas on major community or national issues among citizens. Traditionally, it is charged with the responsibility of building the nation and social cohesion, with the wider purpose of promoting harmony among the communities.
As a bedrock of the traditional democracy and foundation of national unity, it is fundamental that the aesthetic attraction of the Kgotla matches its sacrosanct role.
When officially handing over the Kgotla Shelter on behalf of Botswana Prison Service at McCarthy’s Rust Village today, The Minister of Defence and Security, Thomas Kagiso Mmusi, said traditionally, all issues concerning the community were decided through consultation and in an open and democratic Kgotla setting.
He stated that it is against this backdrop that Tsabong Prison Staff need to be commended for voluntarily contributing money to restore dignity by constructing a Kgotla Shelter for the McCarthy’s Rust community. This, he stressed will help the village residents to freely and safely hold meetings without disturbance from the bad weather conditions.
Mmusi highlighted that the construction of the wall by the Officers was inspired by the National Vision 2036 pillar 4 of Governance, Peace and Security, which stresses on the importance of Bogosi and the Kgotla system in promoting peace and national unity.
The Minister further commended the Prison Service for their resolute stand in incorporating the President, Dr Mokweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi’s Mindset Change initiative in all their business processes. He said mindset change is critical in enhancing the socio-economic growth of the country.
Tsabong Prison Officers took a deliberate step to shift their minds and focus on helping those in need.
“𝘒𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘢 𝘨𝘰 𝘵𝘴𝘢𝘺𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘣𝘢𝘬𝘢 𝘴𝘦 𝘨𝘰 𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘭𝘰𝘦𝘵𝘴𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘸𝘦 𝘭𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘸𝘦 𝘰𝘰 𝘰 𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘰 𝘨𝘰 𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘢 𝘮𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘭𝘩𝘢𝘬𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘴𝘢 𝘣𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦 𝘭𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘢, 𝘨𝘰 𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘩𝘢 𝘮𝘦𝘨𝘰𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘰 𝘭𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘬𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰 𝘨𝘰 𝘢𝘨𝘢 𝘉𝘰𝘵𝘴𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘰 𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘭𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘰 𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘨. 𝘈 𝘳𝘦 𝘊𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘨 𝘋𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘬𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰, 𝘔𝘢𝘪𝘬𝘶𝘵𝘭𝘰 𝘭𝘦 𝘉𝘰𝘪𝘵𝘴𝘩𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘰 𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘴𝘩𝘰!” he said.
Minister Mmusi expressed confidence that Prison Officers find it easy to implement all these significant initiatives as a result of teamwork, innovative minds, efficiency, excellence and Botho. He applauded Commissioner Dinah Marathe for exemplary leadership and mentoring skills which she keeps on implanting in her team.
He said Botswana Prison Service’s sustained contribution to improving the lives of Batswana through voluntarism should inspire others to follow the same route.
In giving her remarks, the Commissioner of Prisons – Commissioner Dinah Marathe, indicated the idea began in 2022 when Tsabong Prison Officers visited McCarthy Rust on a reintegration programme meeting.
She said it was during the meeting that the Officers identified the need to construct the Kgotla shelter and voluntarily contributed money to start the project.
The Commissioner expressed her gratitude to Minister Mmusi and the entire Ministry of Defence and Security for the visionary leadership and selfless support in all the Prison Service’s efforts to provide excellent service to Batswana.
The Commissioner further commended Tsabong Prison Staff for their humane and compassionate spirit.“…𝘒𝘢 𝘫𝘢𝘭𝘰 𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘢 𝘛𝘴𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘦𝘭𝘢 𝘫𝘢𝘭𝘰, 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘴𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘢 𝘴𝘢 𝘳𝘦, “𝘧𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘨𝘰 𝘵𝘴𝘩𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘸𝘢 𝘬𝘢 𝘬𝘰𝘣𝘰, 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘴𝘢 𝘣𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘰 𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘰 𝘭𝘦𝘣𝘰𝘨𝘢 𝘣𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘦”.
She implored the McCarthys Rust community under the leadership of Kgosi Joni Engelberg to take good care of the Kgotla shelter so that they could enjoy it for a longer time.
On giving his welcome remarks earlier on, Kgosi Joni Engelburg thanked the Botswana Prison Service for an outstanding gesture they extended to his village. He said the bond created between the Prison Service and McCarthys Rust community remains forever. He pointed out that the good deed by the Prison Service proved its alignment with the President’s Roadmap, particularly the Reset Agenda, priority 5 of Mindset Change.
With a total cost of close to P40 000, the project consisted of a new Kgotla Shelter, a traditional hut, refurbishment of the administrative office, fencing of the Kgotla compound and new chairs.