A renowned author, businessman and politician, David Magang will next year release a new book that will chronicle how the ‘historic’ friction between former President Ian Khama and the incumbent Mokgweetsi Masisi began and the way forward for Botswana to not only progress but prosper.
The book which will be Magang’s third, following the release of Magic of Perseverance and Delusion of Grandeur Volume one and two, will also focus on other highlights. The October General Elections which were highly anticipated will also get their share in the book, he says. Magang also points out that the media, which plays a critical role in a democratic dispensation will also be zoomed in the book especially before the elections and at a period when the two leaders (Masisi & Khama) were trading fists.
“Of course I will be publishing the book. I have not started writing, I’m still doing some research, as you know the book needs time as to how many copies to produce and the number of pages but I am working on it,” Magang confirmed on Wednesday morning in an interview. He continued; “the focus of the book will be on history. This will include the vendetta between the two (Masisi and Khama) it is historic isn’t it? So we will have to see what instigated the feud up until now. Remember we write for future references, so the research as to what happened is being done.”
Magang, a former Minister who missed the chance to become the country’s Vice President (VP) and possibly the President in the late 90’s, has been playing an active role in trying to smoke the two a peace pipe. His VP ambitions in 1998 were then shattered by Ian Khama who was recruited from Botswana Defense Force (BDF) as a BDP strategy to unite the then disconnected party by becoming VP. By then BDP advisors told President Ketumile Masire that, Khama, the son of the party’s founding President Seretse Khama would be the panacea to the BDP woes.
Magang’s reconciliatory meetings since last year were as a request from the party as he is one of the BDP veterans who also sits on the Elders’ Council. Article 24.2 of the BDP constitution says the mandate of the Elders Council include investigations, arbitration and reconciliation of differences and disputes where necessary within the party structure and or members.
A meeting between Khama, Masisi and the veterans frantically collapsed early this year. The meeting was to be convened by the party elders including Patrick Balopi, David Magang, Dr Gaositwe Chiepe and Ponatshego Kedikilwe, among others. Former President Festus Mogae was also expected at the gathering. Following that failure in which Khama reported clear that he does not want Magang as part of the team, the latter said these to Weekendpost. “We haven’t met with the two because as you know Masisi is out of the country.
But surely we will meet once he arrives. For now, I cannot say when we would meet. My relationship with him (Khama) is okay as far as I know, but you will never know gore monnao o akantse eng ka wena. If he doesn’t want me I will visit him ko lwapeng. Akere le ene o tlaa tla kwa gaetsho nako nngwe.” Magang’s first book, Magic of Perseverance detailed how he had to sweat to secure the land in Phakalane to develop a residential business.
The second one, Delusion of Grandeur slammed the country’s figment of imagination that since 1966 up to this date, Botswana has only progressed but failed to prosper like the Asian tiger, despite being endowed with plethora of natural resources. The upcoming book will not only focus on the personal vendetta between the former allies, but it will look at other issues of national interest such as the elections. “I am also going to zoom in on the past elections and scrutinize them as you know they were very historic and peculiar,” he said shying to dwell much on the details.
The 2019 elections were highly anticipated but saw BDP managing 38 seats, followed by the UDC with 15. Khama’s Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) garnered 3, while Alliance for Progressives (AP) got only one. As is, there are 29 petitions at the courts of law with opposition parties claiming there were irregularities building to the election and strongly believing that BDP has rigged the elections. This is an interesting factor that Magang will look to include in his chronicles.
The volume will also look at the role the media played in the build up to the elections and the tone of the media at the height of their (Masisi/Khama) battle. It is the second year running with the two not sharing a shade, efforts to mediate them has never seen the light of day and it becomes unlikely with each passing day.
“I will look at the role you played as the fourth estate prior to the elections and during them. Media is a powerful tool in a democratic dispensation like ours, so their role will be well captured in the book. I will also analyze and critic how the media reported about the friction between these two men, sometimes there was a lot of sensationalism and it will be looked into,” Magang said.
DIKGOSI ALSO WANT FEUD DOCUMENTED
Earlier this year Dikgosi also unanimously agreed that the war between the two needs to be documented for future reference. The motions was presented by the then specially elected member of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, Kgosi Thabo Maruje III of Masunga who said that the dispute between Khama and Masisi is largely owing to the deficit of a presidential museum which should define dialogue.
“A presidential museum will define dialogue. Currently there is a hot dialogue in which people have divergent views (between Masisi and Khama). This is largely because we have a deficiency of a process where anytime we can declassify material which is outdated,” Kgosi Maruje observed. To add onto Kgosi Maruje’s sentiment, Tswapong Region's Kgosi Galeakanye Modise also said the presidential museum is essential and surely could be providing an answer to the current disagreement between Khama and Masisi.
“But if there is a process that is well packaged, even the dispute between Masisi and Khama that is happening now, that presidential museum could provide an answer,” Kgosi Modise pointed out while stressing that, “it could provide clear references for the dispute.” According to Kgosi Maruje, if this nation can undergo through such a crisis, the nation will hold dikgosi accountable in terms of where they were during such current crisis like that of Masisi and Khama.
The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.
WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?
Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.
Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed. This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.
In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’ The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.
Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama).
Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.