Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Minister Seretse should contribute by stepping aside

In suggesting that Rre Seretse should step aside I am not making any pronouncement about his guilt or otherwise. I will below set out why I believe it is in my interests that he should step aside and allow investigations to be completed and the DPP allowed to exercise its discretion if the results of the investigations are forwarded to her.

If newspaper reports are to be believed the DCEC is investigating possible conflict of interest involving Rre Seretse. It is my belief that it might have been acceptable in the past for Rre Seretse to have hung in there. My understanding is that DCEC vets what warrants investigation, it does not investigate just because a member of the public or particular political party wants an investigation. It investigates what it believes to be prima facie unlawful otherwise it would be wasting public funds.

Rre Seretse is in control of the institutions that are investigating his alleged conflict of interest. Surely it does not make sense for a political head of an institution to insist that he can remain in position during the investigations. This has nothing to do with tempering of evidence or intimidation of professionals. It is a value judgment.

Further the person who is taking the heaviest criticism for Rre Seretse’s continued presence in cabinet is my chief. If I were asked to choose between Rre Seretse and Rre Khama I would to choose Rre Khama. I believe that Rre Seretse as a cousin of Rre Khama does not expect the latter to ask him to step aside. Rre Seretse is also Rre Khama’s subject. Rre Seretse is therefore duty bound to decide in a manner that protects Rre Khama’s image. The issue is not about his image but that of Rre Khama. As a Mongwato he should instinctively know what the right thing to do is.

It does not matter that he declared his interests to Rre Khama. The issue now is about the credibility of our Kgosi. Kgosi Khama has set out in the public domain what transpired with regard to a former cabinet minister. It is only fair that Rre Seretse assists Kgosi Khama to keep his credibility.

I have been reliably informed that Khama the Great did not allow his children and relatives to marry wealthy commoners because of the belief that the wealth might go to their heads and they would forget their place and challenge his authority. Sometimes a challenge to authority can be very subtle and present itself by a person ignoring the harm that his conduct and its continued association with your name is doing to you. There is no way that Rre Seretse can claim to be unaware of the harm that his continued presence in cabinet, during investigations, is doing to Kgosi Khama’s credibility.

Even if Rre Khama himself were to ask him to stay he should not agree because the cost is too much. I believe Rre Khama has the gravitas to hold this country together as it expands its democratic and governance space. For sure the birth pains are extreme but who would rather we continued with the pretend democracy that we have had. We had a pretend democracy given to us for free. Now some are only starting to pay their share of the costs for a genuine democracy. Rre Seretse should view his resignation as his contribution to the cost of a genuine democracy and good government, otherwise his continued stay in cabinet makes the cost a little bit higher than what it should be, for it will cost us Kgosi Khama’s credibility. He should do the right thing and step aside and allow investigations to be completed.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.