Minister for International Affairs and Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has said that President Ian Khama’s no show at African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) summits draws its roots from former President, Festus Mogae’s globetrotting escapades.
Moitoi suggested that Khama’s absenteeism from AU and UN was as a result of him caving in to media pressure and public opinion of the Mogae era. She stated that Khama then decided that since the Mogae administration had a strong pivot toward international affairs, the fourth presidency will be grounded at home, attending to domestic and regional affairs.
“What I would like to remind you of what we were saying during the argument, Rre Mogae used to be called the absent president during his term, so when president Khama came into office, he said, because of Mogae’s stigma, I would pay attention to home and to SADC and I will assign my Vice President to AU and the UN,” Moitoi explained.
She however said that Khama would only attend to continental and world summits that dealt only with environmental issues. Moitoi further conceded that in the election of the AU Commission Chairperson and its Commissioners, it was difficult to explain this concept to other states.
She further defended Khama stating: “Yes my president was not there, but there were people whose presidents were there, they didn’t win either. So the question is, do you win because your president is there? And the answer is clearly no!” She also added: “Maybe it would have helped, but it doesn’t make any difference whether the president was there or not.”
Moitoi who is Member of Parliament for Serowe South constituency further noted that, after viewing the curricula vitae of her opponents she knew hers was competitive and that if it was just about applying for the job, without the politics at play, she could have won. “It had nothing to do with who the best person was; it was who the politics wanted on the day. I have absolutely no regrets and I have learnt a lot,” she reiterated.
Moitoi also highlighted that, the country would not be affected by the statement that states would now be represented by either vice presidents or prime ministers, as stated by new chairperson of the bloc, Moussa Faki Mahamat. According to Moitoi, the belief that her loss was due to Khama’s absence at AU was a mere excuse put forth by other African states to undermine her candidacy.
“If you studied the politics at AU this time around you will understand the reasons for the vote, so the fact that President Khama was not there had nothing to do with how they voted, they had to find an excuse. They didn’t have any reason to reject us.” Moitoi also blamed the media for influencing the Khama administration’s diplomatic thinking, stating that: “what you portray as the media is what the world knows of us. We are in this together and it always comes back to bite all of us.”
She further continued: “The problem with explaining it is that you knew at home why he didn’t go, because the former president was always away. You (media) even parodied the situation by drawing Mogae in the newspapers.” Moitoi also said that when the next leader changes approach, the media will still complain.
“I’m sorry, but we have to make up our minds. Sometimes we confuse ourselves and our leaders. Something is going to crash, somewhere. I don’t blame him (Khama) and as far as I’m concerned I qualified for the job.” She also stated that they were caught in a catch 22 situation because; even if Khama had attended the election, “they would have said he has come this time around because his candidate was contesting.”
Moitoi reiterated that Khama was in full support of her candidacy saying that she continued earning her salary and had another cabinet minister acting in her place. She also stated that even though she had not been availed direct cash to fund her campaign, the government sponsored her official continental assignments which she also used to campaign. She also revealed that Botswana does not have a blueprint for financing Batswana who step up for international contests.
“We didn’t have it and it was very difficult to craft it when I was the candidate. It would have looked wrong because it would have looked like I was tailor-making it for myself. The next day you were going to write (media) that the blueprint was crafted because I was contesting.” Moitoi also confirmed that she will be standing down when her term ends in 2019 and she will be approaching her future with an open mind. However, when asked about Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe’s comments on her defeat, she stated:
“Rre Mugabe le tautona wa rona ke motho le rraagwe ba na le go gakololana ka fa ba gakollanang ka teng,jaanong ga ke tsene thata mo go tsone. Yo mongwe o a bo a utlwisitswe ke yo mongwe botlhoko a bo a mo tika ka lefoko.” Loosely translated she said,” Mugabe and our president are like father and son so I’m not going to comment on that .They have ways through which they advise each other. The other will lob a harsh word when aggrieved by another.” She said seemingly referring to Mugabe.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.