Friday, June 21, 2024

Masisi Should Pull off the Plug on Khama

By Richard Moleofe

This country has been thrown into a very unstable situation. We have never experienced this amount of uncertainty in our fifty-three years of independence. And when situations get this ugly, how I wish Rre Masire was here. In his old age he was spew absolute wisdom at every junction.

But in the absence of Rre Masire who was a fountain of wisdom, how I wish I was having the State House as my residential address. From there I would take solid action against Ian Khama. But I think the reason why Masisi has not moved against Khama is for the fact that the fellow and his family still haven’t got the keys to State House.

This one factor the nation needs to know. The head of state still can’t  access State House because of the actions of his predecessor. But the fracas that Khama has caused for so long shows that Masisi is quite a temperamental individual. We need a president like him. Not someone who will end up entangling us with his decisions that were made out of some uncontrollable temper.

Masisi has really acted presidential. Some African leaders must be wondering why Khama has not been put behind bars by now for undermining the president. It is very clear that the former president is acting like a bitter ex-wife. In fact the title of former president is no longer suitable for him. The nation must now call him ex-president because that’s exactly what he is acting like.

A few weeks ago the BDF Commander wrote a letter to the ex-president expressing that he is no longer a desirable character to be seen around their animal parks and obstacle course. That letter had that glaring mistake right on the heading of the subject matter. Instead of writing obstacle course, it was written cause.

Khama is generally referred to as Coursecool which is just an Englishfied Setswana word for Kgosikgolo. From this moment going forward even that tittle doesn’t suit him. He is neither acting presidential or like a kgosikgolo. Instead the man is acting like a renegade. And indeed he is one and it is high time he is treated for what he is. The staff officer who drafted the letter must be hot soup for that mistake. Unless if it’s the commander’s Personal Assistant.

Seretse Khama abdicated his chieftaincy way before independence and the unfortunate thing was that he added a clause to say he was doing that for himself and not his children. That is found in his speech at the coronation of Ian Khama as chief of Gammangwato in 1979.  But here is what Seretse Khama said to his son and heir apparent, “You are not chief of Botswana because this country is a democracy. You will not be superior to the chief of Batlokwa, Gangwaketsi or Gamalete.” I wonder if Ian cared to listen.

But the fellow is acting just contrary to what his father advised him not to do. He is all over the country trying to get the attention of every chief to be on his side. The man has formed his own party and he is trying to beat up chiefs of other tribes into his hold.

When listening to Seretse’s speech at the coronation of his son, I don’t hear him telling his son that he should not lord it over the chiefs of Boteti, Tswapong, Bokalaka and Bobirwa. Seretse was sometimes a tricky man himself. One would expect him to mention these tribes as well but he chose to mention the principle tribes found in the constitution he helped craft as a barrister.

If in case he wanted to avoid the mention of the minor tribes under the Central District, he still could have mentioned Bakgalagadi, Basubya or Bayei. The man knew exactly what he was doing. That is why some called him Tsotsiyakgale.

At the moment Khama is not regarded by government as a chief and that is why he is not seating in the House of Chiefs. He would like to but here is a catch to it; if he goes to be in that forum, he would fall under the portfolio of the Minister of Local Government. Under the minister he would get the chastisement suited to him if he oversteps his bounds. But Khama being the disciplinarian that he is known to be wouldn’t want to be disciplined.

Khama wants to remain a free agent that can be a chief and still be a politician and continue to meddle in the affairs of government. He is a man that wants to live under no rules while he himself lords it over others.

He is going around campaigning for his new party using government vehicles and resources. It is time the president applies his presidential powers on Khama as Khama did on Motswaledi and our courts Okayed it.

I am a retired officer and it is interesting that the BDF Act has been amended in the last year of Khama’s presidency. Obviously he was interested in the details of the new act. But here is a very interesting clause in the new act. As per the new amended BDF Act of 2018, the Commander-in-Chief has the right to strip Khama of the title of Lieutenant General that he is holding.

The BDF Act Section 31 subsection 4 in conjunction with subsections 1 and 2 reads as follows; ”If the President considers it expedient in the public interest, he or she may by order prohibit a person referred to in subsection (2) from purporting to be still holding such rank or status.” Khama is acting like a renegade general by fomenting and fermenting tribalism, insurgency and terrorism. He is not behaving in a general officer like manner. Let’s face the truth; would anyone be comfortable with Khama frequenting the BDF Headquarters under the current poisoned political atmosphere?

For how long Mr President shall the country be held at ransom by one man. A man who has the guts to de-campaign us on foreign media and not even tell the truth. Please pull the plug on Mr Khama.

*Richard Moleofe is a security analyst


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