Saturday, September 25, 2021

Fear and loathing ahead of Khama’s departure

President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s life may have been in danger after it emerged this week that for months, an imposter had infiltrated the State House security detail. The man, whose name is known to the Sunday Standard, was arrested last week, on the day Khama delivered his State of the Nation address ÔÇô months after he slipped into the President’s security. The unprecedented breach in the president’s security is part of a pattern of growing fear and insecurity that attends Khama’s last days in office.

In a curious turn of events, Brigadier Macheng was last week abruptly moved from the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) to the Office of the President where he will be heading an anti-terrorist unit. Brigadier Sentsekae Macheng is a known Khama loyalist and was until his recent re-appointment the BDF National Anti-Poaching Coordinator.   

On the same day Brigadier Macheng was moved to the Office of the President, Colonel Kenamile Badubi was retired from the army and re-appointed Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services Director of Operations. Col Badubi who is now DISS third in command has extensive knowledge in defence intelligence and used to conduct force intelligence courses at the BDF Force Training establishment (FTC). Sources state that Badubi is being groomed to take over from Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services Director General, Isaac Kgosi who is 59 and will reach the mandatory retirement age next year.   

Khama’s two key intelligence appointments only five months before his retirement suggest that the president may be uneasy with relinquishing power. The curious appointments come at a time when his successor, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi is also reported to be worried about lapses in his security. It is understood that Masisi believes there is a plot to assassinate him and that a number of attempts have been made on his life to stop him from ascending to the State House.   

Masisi is reported to have been uneasy about his security after he escaped death after missing a BDF aircraft which crashed in Tsabong killing three passengers on board. Masisi was scheduled to fly in the fatal aircraft to a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) youth league congress in Tsabong.   It is understood that his fears were stoked recently after some intelligence allies alerted Masisi’s close family member that the Vice President had been poisoned in an incident when he was admitted to a South African private hospital last year where he was treated for an undisclosed illness.

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