Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama has on his numerous requests to source finances to support his allies on the upcoming elections managed to get at least P100 million for that purpose, WeekendPost has established.
This publication is reliably informed that Khama has been on constant talks with his associates around the world seeking financial assistance to support his preferred candidates during the elections. His toils have been rewarded with P100 million which his sponsors want to be used to win an intense battle with his successor President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s desired contestants on certain constituencies.
WeekendPost sources disclose that Khama was financed mostly by his business allies who have developed interest in the ongoing animosity since the end results could leave them with unimaginable repercussions. Most of the business community’s concentration is on tourism and mining sector, which are all the biggest contributors to the country’s GDP.
While the feud has been described as a party affair or a two man show, it has now escalated to the international level. Khama is reportedly enjoying support from South Africa. “He has backing that side (South Africa), that is why he was even accorded protocol earlier this year by their government despite Botswana government having made it clear even to Botswana embassy there not to avail protocol to him but the SA government went against that,” highlighted a source this week. This development relates to Khama’s trip to India which was not sanctioned by the government and consequently directing other governments not to give him protocol.
Asked about election monies on Thursday morning at his office, Khama said: “I went to South Africa last week and as to what I was doing there is very personal, therefore I cannot disclose what I do with my friends with any third party.” Khama was last week confirmed to have travelled to South Africa where he is alleged to have met his associates including President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Motsepe family.
Not only are the South Africans offering financial support, it is also indicated that the Western countries are rallying behind Khama, with their interest solely on the two sectors (Mining and tourism). It is said Khama just like the Europeans is irked by a looming global dominance by China which threatens Western control on African countries. “He met with them when he visited Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama and made arrangements as to how they can assist one of their own,” clarified a source on Wednesday this week.
From the P100 million which was received last week, it is said, at a meeting held on Wednesday night this week, it was decided that the chunk of it should focus on the intended purpose. It is then that a unanimous decision was reached that P70 million be solely for elections campaign to those preferred by the former President Khama.
The contestants that have received blessings are across political divide with the main intention being to break Masisi’s votes. “The plan is to assist at least 20 parliamentary hopefuls. From his own BDP Khama is expected to work with close to ten members (names known to this publication) who he believes are not hostile to him. As it stands he has another seven independent candidates who are vying for parliamentary seats and will also give them moral and financial support to win their seats (most of them were either suspended or expelled from the BDP).
With the total number of Khama’s members reaching 17, Khama will next weekend reveal plans of how he is going to work with the main opposition UDC. Already informants say four members from the party have been anointed by Khama with the number expected to rise as the dynamics change. He will also endorse candidates representing Alliance for Progressive’s (AP) with Brigadier Kgokgothwane licking lips to get endorsement from the former President.
“They want to kill the magic number of 29 then it means there won’t be an outright winner after the elections. And from there it is possible to negotiate governance with whoever is there but of course not the BDP, not with Masisi as the president, possibly we could gravitate towards the UDC or any opposition party that would have done well in the polls,” shared a highly placed informant.
The expectation from Khama’s inner circle is, if he can succeed with his 17 candidates then UDC pushes more of its contestants then the BDP will be gone. “So for this to happen there should be investments that is why this money is important. I understand more of the funds are still sourced this shows that it is very serious,” added a source.
The plan at the end of the day is to form a coalition which if prosper will be the first of its kind in Botswana. Political observers say chances of this being a success are very high. “It is very much possible to succeed. Look Boko is a narcissist and if he is diluted by others it very easy to restrain his excess and that is how this could work wonders. Chances are Khama will not be a member of the UDC; he will come with his resources to show them his contributions.
He is a man who likes to be praised and if he joins the UDC it will be unclear as to whether he is a member or super member so he will chose to come with his informal movement for better bargaining,” says an observer who did not want to be named. Khama will on the 25th of this month reveal plans to form a ‘Democracy Movement’ that will endorse selected candidates in a bid to wrestle power from the current administrators.
Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.
Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”
Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”
The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.
“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.
Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.
Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.
Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.
Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”
In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”
Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.
“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.
Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.
Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.
He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”
Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.
“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.
One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.
A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.
Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.
A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.”
Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.