President Mokgweetsi Masisi stopped short this week of confirming that the difficult transition from his predecessor may be caused by his decision not to appoint Tshekedi Khama as his vice president.
There has been speculation that Masisi reneged on his deal with Khama to appoint Tshekedi as his vice president. Masisi however told the Sunday Standard this week that he never promised Khama anything. “Let me make it categorically clear. There was never a deal. I do not owe anybody anything. I never promised anybody anything. Clearly there were signs that this one may be preferred over the other. But I took that as normal. Everybody is free to express their wish as some in the media fraternity also tried to persuade me to select one person or the other. I saw that as normal,” said Masisi.
Masisi said the former president in their many discussions and engagements on the transition “made his feelings known as any human being would. I never was cornered or forced into or have anything extracted from me by way of a promise. So I was very comfortable in assuming office. These transition issues as I have talked about them essentially manifest themselves post that. And when I reflect I can see elements of their beginnings prior to. I will stop that far,” said Masisi, implying that it has become clear to him that the troubles surrounding the transition might actually be partially traced to his choices of vice president.
He however was adamant that to say he had a deal with Ian Khama would be wrong.
Other than not appointing Tshekedi as vice president, one of the things that ruined the relationship between Masisi and his predecessor has been the sacking of Isaac Kgosi, a former head of intelligence services who is a known staunch associate Ian Khama.
The decision to sack Kgosi and then mount criminal investigations against him turned out to be a straw that broke a camel’s back.