Bonnington North MP, Duma Boko, has told parliament that by not attending meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, President Ian Khama is passing up an opportunity to participate in the formulation of public international law.
“The rules of public international law are developed in critical part by the participation and conduct of states through their presidents in international affairs. When the United Nations General Assembly meets in New York and the president is busy in Mosu or wherever he is, that is a sad, a searing indictment of our country,” said Boko, adding that the latter state of affairs depicts a president who is not interested in engaging with other world leaders in shaping public international law.
Khama has what has been reported in the press to be a “holiday home” in Mosu, a small village in the Central District. What Boko said in parliament was a variation of a similar charge that he made against the president in the run-up to last year’s general election. Speaking at a massive political rally launching his candidacy for Bonnington North, the Umbrella for Democratic Change and Botswana National Front leader made an uncharitable remark about Khama gallivanting at the Khawa sand dunes in the Kgalagadi district when the UN General Assembly is in session.
He reminded his audience that not once has Khama (who has participated in motorcycle races in Khawa) darkened the doorway of the UN chamber where national leaders pass resolutions that become public international law. He presented himself as a better choice for president than Khama because he (Boko) would be able to intellectually hold his own against world leaders like Barack Obama of the United States and David Cameron of the United Kingdom.
To parliament, Boko stated that it is a source of grave embarrassment to Botswana that Khama continues to absent himself – without any good reason, from fora where serious international law issues are discussed.
“Then you send a Minister of Foreign Affairs. With the greatest respect you may be very able to articulate some of the issues, but the point is, in the pecking order of the United Nations General Assembly, you speak when everybody else has spoken and seriously, leaders have left. So it makes absolutely no impact. In the pecking order, the president must be up there, speaking with other presidents and when ours is absent, it is a source, as I have said and I am saying it for the third time, of grave shame,” Boko told parliament.