President Lt Gen Ian Khama has dismissed as utter nonsense and misinformed, speculation that the new Vice President, Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi is only standing in for his brother, Tshekedi Khama.
The President is of the view that the same lies were pedddled about him during his days at the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), during the tenure of former presidents, Festus Mogae and Sir Ketumile Masire.
In an exclusive and revealing interview with Weekendpost, Khama expressed shock that some people have developed a tendency to attempt to read his mind and foretell his next moves – the problem, he says is that they end up misleading the nation and tarnishing his good name.
President Khama said his administration is committed to serve with truth and commitment. He rubbished theories that Masisi is only standing in for Tshekedi, “why would we do that, why will he stand in for Tshekedi, look Masisi is capable just like a lot of BDP MPs and I trust that he will do a good job, he is not standing in for anyone,” he said.
Asked why Masisi of all the MPs, Khama becomes tries to be politically correct. “I don’t want to go in that, but I want to emphasis that it could have been anyone else in the BDP, its just that there can only be one Vice-President,” he said. The President further added that Masisi has an impressive track record as a Minister. According to the President, Masisi is Botswana’s next president. “Things will evolve,” he added.
Nasha is finally out of the picture after a protracted battle that was punctuated by court interventions. If some reports are to be taken seriously there were backstage arm swindling between the former Speaker and the President.
Is Khama happy that Nasha is finally out? Khama responds, “Happy, about what? I am actually unhappy at how things have ended”. Khama continues: “For some reasons Nasha chose to be confrontational, rebellious and hostile. I know why but I will not move to divulge the reasons.”
Pressed further Khama said, “Nasha approached me and wanted some things I could not accede to. She then moved on to vilify me.” Nasha however challenges Khama to reveal those things. “He can’t divulge them because they are non-existant. I challenge him to reveal them and that is when I will respond to you,” she said in a clarity-seeking interview with Weekend Post.
Insiders say the issue was that Nasha wanted an independent Parliament free from the control of the Executive. Nasha has revealed that she often refused some orders from the Executive and the Attorney General. Nasha said a case in point is the just ended court case in which the Attorney General wanted her to scrap off sections of the standing orders calling for a secret ballot. The Court of Appeal upheld Nasha’s decision.
Meanwhile President Khama says he has no reason to hate Nasha, “look I am the one who made Nasha a Minister, and it was under my Presidency that we elected her to a position of a Parliament Speaker after she notified me of her National Assembly Speaker ambition. I nodded to her ambition because we also wanted gender balance among other issues.”
Khama does not want to dwell on his latest working relation with Nasha but is quick to point out that, “I have been behind her throughout until of recent when she said nasty things about me.” The rivalry, Khama says, thicked when Nasha heard that Kokorwe will be nominated to replace her. “She rebelled against me and did despicable things,” says the President.
The BDP has got its way at the National Assembly contrary to some people’s hopes. They have unanimously and effortlessly elected their preffered Speaker and Deputy and further endorsed President Khama’s choice of Vice President. This followed a notorious court battle over the National Assembly standing orders on the type of election method to be used.
When asked to explain why the country had to endure such a ‘laughable and ridiculous’ case – to borrow from Nasha’s words – President Khama said, “Let me explain that because we have been abused on that case.
The truth of the matter is that someone I would not reveal his identity confided to me that some people want to challenge the said standing orders and I approached the Attorney General and the party lawyer, Parks Tafa about the matter and it was agreed that we had to clear the matter before the courts to avoid any embarrassment after we had made our elections and everything,” he said.
According to Khama, Tafa and the Attorney General had no case but just wanted to clear the ground. The submissions raised by the Attorney General and the BDP lawyer, Tafa who argued at length the case and even went as far as appealing, were that the standing orders are unconstitutional and that they may plunge this country into a constitutional crises.
The confusing part however is that Nasha speaks a totally different story to the case. She has revealed that the Attorney General had prior to the case requested her to put aside the standing orders under question and she refused.
The story according to Khama is that on the 23rd of October he heard that the elections may be challenged as unconstitutional. Khama says he later learnt that the matter was blown out of proportion.
“For the record I am one of those people who support the secret ballot system. I actually wanted it to be upheld because people were saying these are internal BDP wars playing themselves out at their expense. The BDP decision at parliament to vote unanimously without anyone monitoring or intimidating them has shown that we are a united party as shown by our votes,” he said.
The BDP has voted as per the caucus resolutions and only one member defied the caucus and voted for Nasha. Nasha has revealed that she doesn’t blame the MPs for not voting for her as they had to endure unbearable fire to vote her out.
Khama has met with the opposition parties leader, Duma Boko and pleaded with him to ensure a good working relationship. The President has also pledged to work with the opposition in good faith.
Much, however, has been said about Khama’s commitment to his word owing to failure to keep previous promises to the opposition. What is wrong? Khama blames the opposition. “We must work together for the betterment of this nation.
The problem comes when they find solace in attacking me at any given opportunity, that is not how a team works. The Khama bashing must stop and be replaced with a constructive and noble exchange of ideas,” Khama proposes.
Saleshando speaks over Masisi Botswana Congress Party leader, Dumelang Saleshando says the nation has to respect Khama’s decision to appoint Masisi as his vice,adding that as the president one chooses the person he thinks he can best work better with.
He said the vice president however has to be a man who is ,among other attributes, ,tolerant,honest,patriotic ,selfless and astute. Asked if he honestly thinks Masisi posseses those qualities,Shaleshando said ‘unfortunately no.’
“Look ,i have interacted with Masisi a couple of times and i don’t think he can advice the president.I think he lacks the necessary charactristic of a person ideal for that position but like i say we have to respect the president’s choice and give them a chance,” he said.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.