Wednesday, June 19, 2024

A lame duck President Khama could be the most dangerous!

As President Khama’s era at the helm nears the end, his dark side and trail of destruction are about to go on full display. His true personality is quickly emerging from the fa├ºade of his elegant rhetoric. The glory days when his 5Ds rhetoric was in vogue and captivating are coming to an end and as a result, his mask is wearing off. Though attempting to second guess what President Khama’s motive is has always proved an improbable task, something scary is certainly cooking.

The ‘hands up’ court battle and the Presidency statement that His Honour Vice President Masisi would, for the time being, continue with his portfolio responsibility as Minister of Education and Skills Development are pointers to what is yet to come before President Khama finally relinquish power. With the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) on the verge of defeat, Batswana can be assured that President Khama will unleash his terriers on all those who refuse to buy into his infantile rhetoric. Essentially, the ‘hands up’ court case was a lot more than an innocent endeavour to get clarification from the courts regarding the constitutionality of the contested parliamentary Standing Orders.

Basically, President Khama sought to intimidate and hold his own country captive. His filibustering was intended to make it clear that if he does not get what he want, Botswana is in for rude awakening. He wanted everyone to remember that he is still the President of the Republic and he will do it his way because he does not run the country for Batswana but for the Khama family and their stooges and the rest can go to hell. It should be noted that President Khama’s core strategy has always been to intimidate, marginalize and silence all those who are critical of his leadership. Such tactics have come to include attempts to hold the law making body to ransom ÔÇô the very institution where our elected representatives meet to defend us against brutality.

Throughout his presidency, Khama has come out as a man who thrives on controversy to remain relevant. He warned the nation about a civil war sponsored by the opposition political parties. He alleged that should the opposition take power, he will be persecuted and forced into exile. These are grave allegations that characterize President Khama’s dark side as belligerent and vindictive and ready to go down with the entire country if he does not get what he wants. There is a lot more to these allegations than just a scheme to cower the masses into his corner.

These outrageous allegations have the same effect with those peddled by Zimbabwean President Mugabe’s camp who accused President Mugabe’s challengers, specifically Joice Mujuru of planning to assassinate the state president. Essentially, such allegations are intended to instil fear and panic so that people reject change in any form and at all levels, including changes in the presidency.

President Khama is known as a leader who, like a legendary conman, has an unbelievable sweet tongue that makes people enjoy their misery. He has come to pass as a leader who smiles in our faces while making our lives miserable. Over the years, he has made bold statements that when put together would yield a platform for an attractive vision. However, President Khama has made it a habit to make sound pronouncements while he does the opposite or nothing at all. Since ascending to the highest office in the land, President Khama has made ‘botho’ one of the core principles of his presidency. He never misses an opportunity to remind this nation to remain true to its founding traditional values of botho yet he would breaks all basic rules of botho and parade a family man’s (an Honourable MP, a Chief) under-age children and spouse at a political rally spewing vile and discrediting him at his backyard to score points and got away with it. After forming a new government post 2014 general elections, President Khama pledged to work together with the leader of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) who happens to be the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. While it appeared that many people bought into this trap, recent developments in Parliament shows that President Khama was not only dishonest in his pledge but also grossly deceitful as usual.

Rude comments have been made about the embarrassing number of rounds of visits he has made to the villages with negligible returns to these rural areas. Critics have argued that President Khama is so clueless, incompetent and out of touch with Batswana’s lives that after hopping from one village to the next for over 15years he still cannot comprehend their seemingly generic challenges and offer meaningful long term interventions which brings us to the argument that his visits to the villages has nothing to do with getting to know the challenges faced by Batswana but everything to do with growing his own image that should be celebrated accordingly for he is the only one who matters. With an inflated sense of self-worth, President Khama pretends to care about people in the rural areas especially the elderly and the poor. However, the truth is that he only cares about them because they fulfil his needs and serve a purpose for him by recognizing, admiring and celebrating him. Beyond that, they are certainly no better than rhinos in a sanctuary or ‘his’ cheetahs at the BDF animal park.

The problem however is that his leadership has had severe repercussions on Botswana’s ability to move forward now and in future. Yet almost a full 4year term remains for him to continue with his destruction and he is not ready to change. He is not the type to relent and his profession as a soldier does not permit him to do so. National leaders thrive to leave indelible footprints ÔÇô something to use to make up for their failures and wickedness and when they do fail to leave such a legacy, they can go to the extreme lashing out and fixing all those they hold responsible for their situation. If President Khama does not have things his own way and fails to at least leave something like a remarkable legacy, he wouldn’t mind to ensure that no one enjoys life after he has vacated the presidency office.

Realizing that he is unlikely to get things his way in his remaining years is bound to make President Khama more dangerous and ruthless. Thus, a lame duck President Khama would feel caged and a cage stokes emotions and hard feelings. Like a feline that has escaped from its cage, a lame duck President Khama would likely turn even on people closest to him. With the general election gone and his party having been returned to state power albeit with a reduced majority, there is virtually no longer any barrier that stands on his way. Given this scenario, it is in order to say that President Khama is not at the end of his presidency but rather at the beginning of his full blown trail of destruction and an unpleasant agenda to entrench the Khama dynasty and he may not care how much damage his wish could do to this nation. After all, his leadership has never been about taking Botswana forward but rather it has always been about fostering and protecting his self-esteem.

Thus, in the next 4 years or so Batswana, including BDP fanatics, may have to put aside any pretence to incorporating bread and butter issues into the development agenda in order to battle President Khama’s agenda and the task appears insurmountable given that President Khama’s powers and privileges effectively make him an eternal institution.

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