Democracy and civilian rule, which have characterised Botswana worldwide since independence, are coming to a ‘military halt’ when vice president Ian Khama ascends to the highest office in March, says a BNF activist.
Billy Makuku warned the residents of the impending military rule under Ian Khama, when President Festus Mogae’s term of service expires in March.
The political rally held on Tuesday morning was meant to bid Bangwato farewell for having warmly welcomed the party to hold its annual national party conference in Serowe.
“The country’s democracy and civilian rule, which used to characterise the country worldwide, are coming to a halt in March as vice president Ian Khama automatically ascends to the presidency to impose military rule,” declared Makuku. “Batswana and the world at large will for the first time in the history of Botswana witness democracy and civilian rule thrown to the dogs as president Festus Mogae steps down.”
He said signs were evident that BDP behaviour under the eagle eye of Khama was gradually shedding off a civilian coat in preference to military clothing.
Makuku cited as an example the roping in of Ministers Moeng Pheto and Neo Mokaila, both from the army, who he said joined the ranks of politicians at the invitation of Khama.
Makuku asserted these ex-soldiers-cum-politicians, and many others in government departments, are cloaked in civilian clothing whist in actual fact they are servicemen ready to come to military attention come March 2007.
He said Khama was slowly and surely surrounding himself with army officers.
Makuku regaled the audience with a parliamentary incident when Khama’s appearance into parliament was met with spontaneous military attention by some, including Minister Mompati Merafhe, to the amazement of Tonota M, Pono Moatlhodi, who was, at the time, debating on the floor. Their adherence to military name ranks and spontaneous military attention, said Makuku, are clear indications that the country was heading for military rule.
Further, Makuku said Khama has the audacity to single handedly take decisions with impunity.
He cited Tirelo Schaba and Dikgang tsa Palamente as some of the examples.
Tirelo Sechaba was the brain child of Sir Seretse Khame and aimed to uplift the socio-economic developments of Batswana.
Dikgang tsa Palamante was a radio programme broadcsating parliamentary sessions to the public. Makuku charged that Khama abolished these two without consultation.
Such a move, said Makuku, was sheer arrogance displayed by Khama and urged the audience to vote against him in the coming elections.
By so doing, he said, Batswana would be eluding the imminent autocracy that appears set to engulf the country.
Another BNF activist, Tshireletso Kooe, criticised the ruling BDP for introducing school fees saying many pupils in Serowe were staying at home because parents are unable to pay the newly introduced fees.
She bid the visitors farewell but advised them to drive carefully to avoid ‘decorative potholes’ in Serowe which she said are not an eye sore to Serowe MPs.