As the battle for executive power between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and former President General Ian Khama escalates, the latter’s campaign has been cast in tribal terms. As the son of Founding President and abdicated Bangwato tribal leader, Sir Seretse Khama, Gen. Khama was installed as Paramount Chief in 1979 at a ceremony that the young Masisi says he attended.
Over the years, Batswana have been left flustered and bewildered by the train of newspaper reports about high levels of corruption in the economy. Surprisingly, incidences of corruption run parallel to government efforts to combat the same implying that corruption threatens to destroy the Botswana economy, sooner than later.
Wake me up in the middle of the night and quiz me on anything regarding the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I will jump out of bed and get a good score. From my primary school days in the early 1970s, I surely recall a lot of things that have been business for this ministry.
During a stop-over in South Africa on his way to India to meet the Dalai Lama, President Ian Khama told SABC television that his VIP protection had been withdrawn by the Botswana government to protest his controversial trip. Shortly thereafter, pictures of Khama accompanied by Botswana VIP Protection Officers in India appeared online.
A few days ago, a judge in Zimbabwe issued a judgement saying that the leader of the main opposition in Zimbabwe, Mr. Nelson Chamisa, who many believe defeated current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in the last presidential elections were it not of the age-old election tempering, is illegally occupying the leadership of the largest and most popular opposition party.
Following the big meeting in the Serowe kgotla last week Saturday, I have come to fully comprehend Khama’s frustrations. The feud between Khama and Masisi is not the source of the former president’s problems. The underlying problem is with power.
Whether he was a consummate democrat or not, Botswana’s founding president, Sir Seretse Khama, made a good first impression on people who constitute a significant voter block as well as on an equally significant number of their descendants.