Sunday, April 18, 2021

Khama attacks media in speech to BDP Congress

President Ian Khama rained blows on the media in his keynote address at the Botswana Democratic Party Congress in Maun over the weekend.

He said that some media people are biased in their reporting and do not dig facts before publishing.

“However, I want to continue appealing to you fellow democrats not to be intimidated by what you hear from some of these men and women from the many media houses in this country,” Khama said. “You should in fact hold your heads high, walk tall, discourage them and make them see they are not the ones to pin you down.”

Amid expected applause, Khama further stated: “I must, however, point out that it is not all of them who are in this habit of pulling us down, so have your eyes raised and be sure of who you are talking to and make sure that whatever you share with them is exactly what you feel is right because otherwise they will have a field day defaming you for no apparent reason besides making enormous profits.”

The president’s attack on private media particularly appears to be the order of the day at every single forum he addresses.

While many might have understood President Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s speech as the preaching of patriotism amongst fellow democrats over the weekend at the BDP’s 35th national congress in Maun, a lot more others felt that he was, in fact, campaigning for those amongst his A-Team who contested for various positions the day that followed.

The president had in his official opening key note address talked highly and at length in praise of Mpho Balopi, whom he acknowledged of being very loyal to the party and using own resources to see the party through.

He said people of Balopi’s caliber are very few in this country, which is why “there is need to give them credit whenever they do the right thing”.

Although he did not say much on Samson Moyo Guma, who was to contest for the central committee chairmanship, he did mention that the coming back of those who had defected to the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) was a big bonus on its own and that they should feel very much at home and “wanted”.

Little was said about Minister Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi, who was also vying for the same position, something which did not go down well with her supporters.

Khama also complimented party members for what he termed “evident restored peace and stability”, which he said should be practiced for more years to come for better results. He said by the look of things, the party is at pace within itself, while some within the party still feel there are some loopholes which need to be filled and for those in leadership positions to stop favoritism against others.

A source at the event told of how some members are deliberately frustrated in their jobs though never free to voice out their frustrations as there would be no one willing to assist most of the time. He said while the president was trying by all means to sound neutral, there is still a lot that needs to be corrected if at all he wants to see the party going places, failure at which divisions amongst themselves will always be there.

On the issue of infighting amongst members, Khama said the time has come now for them to work even harder than before and make sure that factions of any kind are done with for good.

“I believe we will be at our weakest if we let personal agendas come between us. It is high time we give each one of us the moral support we all need and be there for one another, because at the end of the day it is what we all need. We are very lucky because we have a very weak opposition in this country. They are also shallow in their thinking, and are backed by irresponsible leadership from some trade unions who derail them even further. Their recent attack on the judiciary was unwarranted and reprehensible, and their attacks following their loss at the court of appeal against government were both political and personal. The government will never make promises we cannot fulfill, so let us be in this together and make sure that the opposition is heavily pounded because they have zero ability in whatever they do,” he said.

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