Former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama has this week revealed to WeekendPost that he has cut ties with his longtime colleague Daphne Kadiwa who served as Chief of Protocol under his administration.
A few weeks back a leaked audio from a telephone between Daphne Kadiwa and another Khama longtime friend, Bridgette Motsepe- Radebe from South Africa went viral on social media. The audio recording of a private conversation which motivated Bridgette Motsepe’s Visa Restrictions under Botswana laws was leaked to some local media houses and Motsepe was accused of trying to influence regime change in Botswana. Motsepe was also alleged to have been sponsoring Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi during her Presidential bid against President Mokgweetsi Masisi at a Special Congress held in Kang on 5th April 2019.
When responding to the media after the audio was leaked Khama said he never had time to listen to the conversation. He said that it was a private conversation between two people and it was never intended for a third party. The former President said the person who should be blamed is the one who leaked the conversation and shared it with the media. This week former President Khama told WeekendPost that ever since the leak he has not seen Kadiwa and they have not talked thereafter.
After she left the public service at the end of Khama’s term, Daphne Kadiwa maintained her close relations with her former boss. They went on holidays together and mostly enjoyed timeout at Khama’s retirement home in Mosu as well as Khama’s signature events such as Khawa Sand Dune Challenge and Race for Rhinos and others.
In the leaked audio Daphne Kadiwa could be heard telling Motsepe that everyone has deserted Khama because he never listened to anyone and is always reluctant to make critical decisions. Kadiwa also blamed Khama for protecting former Spy Chief Isaac Kgosi whom she said he lived beyond his means but the former president never bothered to rebuke him. She said Kgosi was a mere civil servant but has millions of pula in his foreign accounts.
Daphne Kadiwa was also heard saying Khama knows why the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is splitting into two. “I am with this man, he knows why there were stories about BoKgosi killing a little boy called Kalafatis, he ignores the media when they write about these things and says he does not care about the media. I have been the only one who could walk into his office and tell him Ian am I the only one who can tell you this …”, said Kadiwa.
Daphne Kadiwa was also heard saying this is the reason why people like Kitso Mokaila have deserted Ian because he does not listen. “People have long warned that Kgosi should leave the country because everyone is going to come behind him and the opposition has been threatening. The people around Ian right now is me, Tony and Margaret. You know him wa mo itse le wena Bridgette o dingalo” she said.
While responding to Daphne Kadiwa’s comments about everyone deserting him including his younger brother Tshekedi Khama, the former President said in fact it is the other way round. “You know this is another example of the character of some people who spread inaccuracies”, he said.
Khama said even though he knew from way back that Daphne Kadiwa is capable of badmouthing him he did not care because she does her job very well. He said there was a point where Daphne Kadiwa was recorded confirming that she indeed leaked a recording to local newspaper. “She was recorded saying I gave them the recording”.
Even though they never spoke, former President Khama said trust between him and Daphne Kadiwa has broken down tremendously. He said the best way to deal with gossip mongers is best not to associate with them anymore. “In fact I want to meet her father sometime soon to discuss this issue”, he said.
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s decision to reject and appeal the High Court’s verdict on a case involving High Court Judge, Dr Zein Kebonang has frustrated the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Judge Kebonang’s back to work discussions.
JSC and Kebonang have been in constant discussions over the latter’s return to work following a ruling by a High Court panel of judges clearing him of any wrong doing in the National Petroleum Fund criminal case filed by the DPP. However the finalization of the matter has been hanged on whether the DPP will appeal the matter or not – the prosecution body has since appealed.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top brass has declined a request by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to negotiate the legal fees occasioned by 2019 general elections petition in which the latter disputed in court the outcome of the elections.
This publication is made aware that UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando was left with an egg on his face after the BDP big wigs, comprising of party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi rejected his plea.
“He was told that this is a legal matter and therefore their (UDC) lawyer should engage ours (BDP) for negotiations because it is way far from our jurisdiction,” BDP Head of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, told this publication.
This spelt doom for the main opposition party and Saleshando who seems not to have confidence and that the UDC lawyers have the dexterity to negotiate these kind of matters. It is not clear whether Saleshando requested UDC lawyer Boingotlo Toteng to sit at the table with Bogopa Manewe, Tobedza and Co, who are representing the BDP to strike a deal as per the BDP top echelons suggested.
“From my understanding, the matter is dealt with politically as the two parties are negotiating how to resolve it, but by far nothing has come to me on the matter. So I believe they are still substantively engaging each other,” Toteng said briefly in an interview on Thursday.
UDC petitioners saddled with costs after mounting an unprecedented legal suit before the court to try and overturn BDP’s October 2019 victory. The participants in the legal matter involves 15 parliamentary candidates’ and nine councillors. The UDC petitioned the court and contested the outcome of the elections citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.
In a brief ruling in January 2020, Judge President Ian Kirby on behalf of a five-member panel said: “We have no jurisdiction to entertain these appeals. These appeals must be struck out each with costs including costs of counsel”. This was a second blow to the UDC in about a month after their 2019 appeals were dismissed by the High Court a day before Christmas Day.
This week BDP attorneys decided to attach UDC petitioners’ property in a bid to settle the debts. UDC President Duma Boko is among those that will see their property being attached with 14 of his party members. “We have attached some and we are on course. So far, Dr. Mpho Pheko (who contested Gaborone Central) and that of Dr, Micus Chimbombi (who contested Kgalagadi South) will have their assets being sold on the 5th of February 2021,” BDP attorney Basimane Bogopa said.
Asked whether they met with UDC lawyers to try solve the matter, Bogopa said no and added. “Remember we are trying to raise the client’s funds, so after these two others will follow. Right now we are just prioritising those from Court of Appeal, as soon as the high court is done with taxation we will attach.”
Saleshando, when contacted about the outcomes of the meeting with the BDP, told WeekendPost that: “It would not be proper and procedural for me to tell you about the meeting outcomes before I share with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC), so I will have to brief them first.”
UDC NEC will meet on the 20th of next month to deal with a number of thorny issues including settling the legal fees. Negotiations with other opposition parties- Alliance for Progressives and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) are also on the agenda.
Currently, UDC has raised P44 238 of the P565 000 needed to cover bills from the Court of Appeal (CoA). This is the amount in a UDC trust account which is paltry funds equating 7.8 per cent of the overall required money. In the past despite the petitioners maintaining that there was promise to assist them to settle legal fees, UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa then said the party has never agreed in no way to help them.
“We have just been put in debt by someone,” one of the petitioners told this publication in the past. “President’s (Duma Boko) message was clear at the beginning that money has been sourced somewhere to help with the whole process but now we are here there is nothing and we are just running around trying to make ends meet and pay,” added the petitioner in an interview UDC NEC has in December last year directed all the 57 constituencies to each raise a minimum of P10, 000. The funds will be used to settle debts that are currently engulfing the petitioners with Sheriffs, who are already hovering around ready to attach their assets.
The petitioners, despite the party intervention, have every right to worry. “This is so because ‘the deadline for this initiative (P10, 000 per constituency) is the end of the first quarter of this year (2021),” a period in which the sheriffs would have long auctioned the properties.
President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko’s alliance with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama continues to unsettle some quarters within the opposition collective, who believe the duo, if not managed, will once again result in an unsuccessful bid for government in 2024.
While Khama has denied that he has undeclared preference to have Boko remaining as leader of UDC, many believe that the two have a common programme, while other opposition leaders remain on the side-lines.