MAUN – The President, Ian Khama has turned down advice from the deputy paramount Chief of the Batawana tribe, Kgosi Bringle Dithapo to consider taking a ‘chill pill’ following his re-election to the highest office in the land. Kgosi Dithapo had used his welcome remarks at the just ended BOCCIM national business conference in Maun to advice Khama on matters of governance. Without being specific, Kgosi Dithapo looked at President Khama who was seated a few metres away from the podium and told him to reconsider how he does some ‘things’.
Kgosi Dithapo indicated that since President Khama had won the recently held general elections, he should consider ‘relaxing’ and taking it easy. “I think now it is very important for me to ask you to consider taking it easy since you have won the elections, which we all realised, was tense” Responding to Kgosi Dithapo, shortly after, President Khama swore that he will not take his advice. “I will do the exact opposite of what you just suggested”, Khama said. The recent disagreement between President Khama and the Batawana royal follows strong allegations made earlier this year by another member of the Batawana royals, Kgosi Charles Letsholathebe.
Kgosi Letsholathebe said in July this year that the recent repossession of prime land in the Ngamiland and Okavango regions by government could be a plot by the president to take total control of the luxurious and booming tourism sector. Kgosi Letsholathebe expressed fears that the repossession of Batawana land could be part of a grand plan by President Khama to take ownership of the tourism sector, which is an economic lifeline of the region. Tourism is also a leading contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the domestic economy.
Letsholathebe’s utterances come in the wake of a recent announcement by President Khama that he has taken possession of keys to some caves in the north western parts of Botswana. In a brief interview with Sunday Standard at the Maun Kgotla, Letsholathebe said as members of the royal family and the communities they serve, they are aggrieved by lack of consultation by President Khama. He added that President Khama’s swift decisions could be motivated by nothing but his personal interest in the booming tourism industry.