President Lt Gen Ian Khama has turned down request by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) opposition leaders to meet him over the political turmoil in the country.
This publication can authrotatively reveal that a letter from Engagement for Citizenship and Development (ECIDE), one of the opposition parties in DRC, which was routed through BDP’s office of the Secretary General had requested for a meeting with Khama to discuss issues pertaining to among others, establishing bi-lateral relations between the two parties. The objective of the request for a meeting was also to disccuss the DRC political crisis which is directly linked to the country’s president, Joseph Kabila’s refusal to leave office after the expiry of his term.
Contacted for comment, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane confimred that they have seen and discussed the letter, of which the party, President Khama in particular was not comfortable with meeting an opposition party from another country. “Khama as is common practice does not meet with foreign opposition. We get many requests,” he said.
“His view is how would we as the BDP react if other presidents met Botswana opposition.” The BDP and Botswana Government are known to have broken this rule however, when they had flitation with Zimbabwe’s Movement forn Democratic Change (MDC) at the height of Zimbabwe’s political crisis.
Last year ECIDE leader, Martin Fayulu exclusively told Weekend Post in a telephone interview facilitated by one of his associates currently in Botswana that it is imperative that Khama comes out publicly to condemn the violence and lead a process which would result in successful mediation. “We want a facilitator, someone who is credible, has moral authority and is respected around the world to lead the negotiation process. We believe Botswana can play a role is searching for such a person,” he said.
“The United States and Europe have imposed sanctions. But nobody in Africa is doing anything about the DRC situation. We want Botswana to take a leadership role in resolving the matter by rallying other African countries to take action.” Fayulu has revealed that the opposition in DRC has lost respect in the country’s elections commission and wants its leader to leave office.
Last year ECIDE rejected a proposed dialogue as they insist that dialogue's current facilitator, Edem Kodjo; a former chairman of the African Union (AU) is not credible and is disposed towards President Kabila. Other opposition parties joined hands with Fayulu’s ECIDE in setting pre-conditions for participating in the dialogue, including freeing political prisoners and lifting bans on several TV stations.
The troubled country saw a violent uprising last year, as multitudes thronged the streets to protest against President Joseph Kabila’s intention to stay in office beyond his constitutional term. The country’s electoral commission has failed to issue a writ for elections, which should be done 90 days before elections. Kabila’s presidential term was scheduled to come to an end in November last year at but Kabila cling to power. “He is playing games with delaying tactics because he knows he will be a loser in the end,” he said.
The 31 December political accord, brokered in good faith by the Catholic Conférence Episcopale Nationale du Congo (Cenco), is said to be the only viable blueprint for political stability in the DRC. It calls for elections by the end of 2017, no third mandate for Kabila and the formation of a new government, led by a prime minister issued from the ranks of the Rassemblement de l’opposition (Rassop), the country’s largest political opposition alliance – led until his death on 1 February by Etienne Tshisekedi
The ECIDE leader, who survived military attacks last year, had expressed confidence that Botswana can play a major role as a game changer in DRC. He lauded former President Sir Ketumile Masire’s involvement in the DRC political crisis as a facilitator between 2000 and 2003. Masire, a worldwide respected statesman played a major role in calming a political situation in the DRC, which later helped the country draw up a new constitution which was accepted by all the country.
Fayulu is among those who have been harassed by Kabila’s security agents, and was arrested earlier last year following his involvement in a peaceful protest aimed at dissuading Kabila from attempting to stay beyond his constitutional term. Scores of citizens are reported to have been killed for protesting against Kabila’s refusal to leave power, while ECIDE’s office was destroyed in the process. Recently, former President Festus Mogae was involved in South Sudan’s mediation talks, as the country was plunged in political crisis amid warring political opponents in the country.
Botswana is known to be a beacon of democracy, peace and stability in Africa and its foreign policy under the presidency of Khama took a major shift in dealing with leaders who refuse to leave power. Botswana has condemned Burundi’s government which earlier this year was embroiled in political crisis as President Pierre Nkurunziza refused to leave power at the end of his term. A number of people died in the protest which ensued, but Nkurunziza remained in office without a political solution. Khama last year had the courage to call the ageing Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe to leave power, because in his opinion, he (Mugabe) had become a burden to the entire SADC region.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.
The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.
This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.
Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.