Sunday, November 28, 2021

INSIDE KHAMA’S GRAND STRATEGY TO USE BPF, UDC FOR PROTECTION

Sunday Standard investigations have turned up documents suggesting that former President Lt Gen Ian Khama relationship with the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is part of a grand strategy to block more than ten corruption investigations against him and his brothers.

A few months before he retired from office, Khama transferred former DCEC Director General Rose Seretse to Botswana Energy regulatory Authority (BERA) and appointed Bruno Paledi as the new DCEC boss.

Before Seretse was transferred to BERA, the DCEC had opened 10 investigation dockets against Tshekedi, and Lt Gen Ian Khama was implicated in at least one of the cases.

The cases were however put on moth balls after Paledi took over.

The 10 cases together with another one involving Seleka Springs which had been gathering dust for more than 10 years were reopened after President Mokgweetsi Masisi who was vowed to fight corruption redeployed Paledi and appointed Joseph Mathambo as the new DCEC Director General.

The appointment of Mathambo, which coincided with the brief arrest of former Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services boss, Isaac Kgosi rattled Khama’s camp, causing panic that the cases against Khama and his family were likely to be resuscitated.

To protect Khama and his family from prosecution, a team of consultants engaged by Khama’s sponsors in South Africa recommended that the former president should cut an exit deal with President Mokgweetsi Masisi which would guarantee protection for him, his family and friends. Among those who it was expected would be part of the deal were Tshekedi Anthony and Isaac Kgosi.

The report compiled by the consultants stated that, “some interview subjects strongly suspect that after the general elections scheduled for October 2019, more vigorous action against Mr Khama, his family and associates will be put in motion by the current president when he has secured a sound mandate.”

The consultants’ report further states, “logically the question then turns to which other measures should be put in place to defend the honour and integrity of Mr Khama, which is concomitant with protecting him and his supporters from the hostile trajectory adopted by  Mr Masisi.”

As one of the options, the consultants recommended that, “Mr Khama can still resign   from BDP and support opposition candidates well-disposed to him without him seeking return to office in the case of a change of government. The relationship between the new government and Mr Khama will be a subject of negotiations and agreements before any commitments can be made.”

The other option was for “Mr Khama to aid the formation of a new political party. Mr Khama cannot lead the party in case he is accused of plotting what one of the Botswana ministers, Unity Dow referred to as a Putin strategy to return to power. But can a party formed after April with only 6 months to elections be organized and resourced in time for the elections? Will the new party be part of opposition coalition or go it alone? For the party to be of significant force it will have to rely on BDP members sympathetic to Mr Khama to make up the bulk of its leadership and rank and file. The viability of a new party will have to be studied in more depth.”

The consultants’ report further stated that, “our attention has been drawn to the possibility of Mr Khama supporting independent candidates comprising mainly BDP members who allege to have been cheated in the primary elections. In carefully selected constituencies, at local government and parliamentary level, independent candidates with enough support can win against BDP official candidates hostile to Mr Khama. If they fail they can take away enough votes for opposition to possibly win the constituencies in question. The biggest loser in this scenario is Mr Masisi.”

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper