Next time you blow your horn in a fit of road rage at the motorist ahead, look carefully because it might be President Ian Khama behind the steering wheel, and he does not suffer road hogs gladly. In fact, “he hates impatient drivers” says his right hand man, Isaac Kgosi.
The career soldier turned state president will not slouch into the State House sedentary routine. Whenever the mood strikes, he jumps behind the steering wheel of his Range Rover and drives himself around town. On other days, when fair weather permits, he would take out his bicycle for a hard slog. But there is a hard road ahead.
Some members of the public are already complaining that it would be a national embarrassment if a car driven by the state president were to be involved in a road accident.
Isaac Kgosi, the man who insures the safety and security of the state president, however, says the president “should not be like he is in prison”.
Speaking to Sunday Standard, Kgosi, who is the director of DITS, said there is no law that says the president should not drive a motor vehicle or ride a bicycle.
He confirmed that the President normally drives himself around, adding that he also likes riding a bicycle as part of exercise and leisure.
Kgosi said even when he is shopping around Game City, one can shake hands with him as it is our culture to greet adults.
“I am aware that there are some dangerous drivers around,” said Kgosi.
Asked whether the president is a good driver, he said, “Yes, he is a good driver and he hates impatient drivers on the road.”
Kgosi assured the public that even though the President is seen driving or riding around, his safety is well secured.
The Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central, Dumelang Saleshando, said, “It is not right for our President to drive himself around.” He queried who would be held accountable if the President were involved in an accident.
The president of the Botswana Federation of Trade Union, Japhta Radibe, shared the same sentiments with Saleshando.
He said the president should immediately be stopped from driving himself because there are people who are employed to look after him, adding that prevention is better than cure.
Some members of the public told The Sunday Standard that “our roads are very dangerous, therefore, if he continued driving himself, he is not only putting himself in danger but is also putting other drivers in danger as well because he can also cause accidents”.
They said though he enjoys driving and riding his bike, he should remember his importance to the nation and must not court danger since the nation would not like to see him in an accident.