President Ian Khama on Friday accused the opposition of portraying him as a dictator. In his acceptance speech at the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) elective congress on Friday where he was unopposed to lead the part for another five year term, Khama said because Ugandan President Idi Amin was a former Army General and portrayed as a dictator in the mainstream media, opposition also tarred him with the same brush because he is a former Army General. “As for my leadership, there are those souls in the opposition who in their desperate attempts to discredit me, out of frustration labelled me a dictator.
Apparently this arises from the fact that I do not shy away from making decisions,” said Khama. He said he makes decisions on many occasions and on many situations adding that he does not have to apologise for that. “The opposition claim I’m a dictator but they do not know what a dictator means. When they watch the movie of Army General Idi Amin, they assume every General is a dictator, “said Khama. He said he would not apologise for his style of leadership including the policies and social programmes introduced by his administration aimed at uplifting the lives of ordinary Batswana.
“I will not apologise for introducing youth empowerment schemes, I will not apologise for introducing Livestock Management and Infrastructure Development LIMID and I will not apologise for introducing Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development ISPAAD,” said Khama. He added that he would also not apologise for introducing a programme that gives temporary relief for people to engage in work programmes for the benefit of their communities whilst earning an allowance to feed themselves and in so doing support local economies; that is the Ipelegeng programme that targets 60 000 people per a month.
He added that he would also not apologise for the poverty eradication programmes such as the one that provides houses for destitute persons. Khama said decision he makes are based on advice from Cabinet and Vice President and his interactions with Batswana through Kgotla meetings and walkabouts where they tell him how they want their lives improved. Meanwhile BDP electoral board Chairman Parks Tafa said all regions nominated and endorsed President Khama unopposed. “Except for a technical error whereby the Western region submitted their nomination less than 24 hours instead of submitting it before 24 hours, we did not encounter problems. Nevertheless they also nominated President Khama and we accepted the technical error without qualms,” said Tafa.