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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Demise or resilience? Customary law and chieftaincy in twenty-first century Botswana
Author:Morapedi, Wazha G.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies (ISSN 0258-9001)
Geographic term:Botswana
customary law
political change
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02589001003736843
Abstract:This paper uses the concept of customary law as it relates to the institution of chieftainship ('bogosi'). It shows how 'bogosi' has maintained its strategic position, administrative muscle and influence amid attempts by the colonial and postcolonial State to emasculate it. It maintains that 'bogosi' has been able to adapt to changing socioeconomic and political landscapes. While the institution's powers have been gradually undermined by the government since independence, chieftainship has, on the other hand, entrenched itself, manipulated the system and made substantial gains. Chiefs and traditional institutions have manipulated their legitimacy to bolster their resilience. The paper argues that despite assertions that chieftainship has been overtaken by events, the reality is that the institution has become central to government and cannot be discarded. It is a traditional institution with immense clout and appeal playing an indispensable role in Botswana's sociopolitical and economic system. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]