President Mokgweetsi Masisi has distanced himself from the alleged decision by Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi to recall former President Ian Khama’s staff.
Media reports this week said the Office of the President (OP) had moved to recall staff members deployed at Khama’s official residence. Speaking to Mmegi newspaper this past week Khama was quoted as having said he only discovered recently that he would no longer enjoy the services of government staff that includes cooks, housekeepers, and gardeners effective November 1st as they had been recalled without replacement. Answering questions from the media at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKA) this Friday Masisi distanced himself from the alleged actions of his PSP.
“I have been away and do not know about this issue to be honest,” he told the media. “Maybe the Vice President (Slumber Tsogwane) knows something but if it is indeed true that all staff have been recalled I will find it shocking.”
He said Khama, as with all former presidents, is protected by law and his entitlements are fully articulated.
“I would never accept anybody abrogating that so if the information I am getting with regard to the staff recall can be relied upon, I will find out. The Vice President will update me on what has been happening.”
Masisi said there was no intention on the part of his government to deprive anybody of their rights particularly as they are provided for in the constitution.
“It’s not in our interest.”
However, Khama was quoted as having said while he was not aware of Masisi’s possible involvement in the matter his experience as State president had taught him the nature of the relationship with PSP is that he (Morupisi) could not have taken the decision with “the confidence” he had without the support of the President.
“I have instructed my lawyers, Collins Newman, that they must take legal action because this is unreasonable and goes against an agreement,” he told Mmegi.
This is the second time within a week that Morupisi has been reported to have taken uncompromising decisions against Khama.
The staff recall follows a media report that he had “humiliated” the former president at a kgotla meeting in Palapye. The PSP has however come out to dismiss the reports on state television and other media. “It is with utmost concern that I have taken note of, and compelled to register my strong reservations to a front-page article appearing in the latest edition of the Weekend Post newspaper, under the mischievous and misleading headline ‘Morupisi humiliates Khama in Palapye’; which falsely accuses me of interference in a kgotla meeting involving former President Khama that was held in Palapye this past Friday,” the PSP said in a press statement. Morupisi, initially appointed PSP by Khama during his tenure as State president , has been at loggerheads with his former boss since the latter’s statutory retirement from office.