When I heard reports suggesting that the down but not necessarily out former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) firebrand, Jacob Nkate, has turned down an offer from President Ian Khama to an ambassadorial post, my first reaction was ÔÇô what a fool!
I mean, I just couldn’t digest how moronic one can be so as to refuse an ambassadorial post. I swear by my living mother I would have, without hesitation, jumped at that offer. I would dance to every one of Khama’s tunes were he to give me the post of ambassador. Just like Assistant Minister Molebatsi, I’d pray that Khama gets an extended life. I’d defend Khama with the stamina only comparable to that of Mokgweetsi Masisi when it comes to Khama. I’d kill for Khama as probably would MacD. That is just how much I love the ambassadorial job.
Look, the job of an ambassador is one of the easiest, coolest, prestigious and hassle-free one can ever land. You get to be chauffeur-driven in a foreign country, in a car hoisting your country’s flag. Even assistant ministers here don’t enjoy that honour.
As an ambassador you get to be addressed as ‘Your Excellency’: a title widely reserved for heads of state. Your duty is mainly to attend endless cocktail dinners or throw parties at your official residence. You can break the law in foreign territories and still go scot-free because of the immunity from prosecution that comes with your position. For someone like me who is sick and tired of my country but cannot relocate to Moruleng, the only way out would be through an ambassadorial post.
Back to Jacob Dickie Radisente Nkate. I sat down to make sense of his seemingly senseless decision to turn down Khama’s offer. And it indeed made a lot of sense to me as to why Nkate would refuse such a honey moon. I screened through the current crop of BDP politicians and Nkate appeared as the only guy who can break Khama’s succession plans. He must have realised it too. He is the only politician who can break the looming Khama dynasty. Nkate still has a chance to make a big come-back and even become the next president. You see, Nkate is a very intelligent guy and I still don’t understand why he, prior to the BDP congress in Kanye, chose to put his brains on pause, picking fights along just to endear himself to Khama. I was disappointed because I have always looked up to him and that is why even now we have a lot in common. For instance, just like me, Nkate is of the view it’s only a coincidence when a prophecy comes true and we don’t buy the prophecy thing.
If you asked me to choose a role model between Nelson Mandela and Jacob Nkate, I’d pick Jakes. This is the guy who worked his way up from the dusty village of Tsau to the corridors of power in the glamorous city of Gaborone. The story of his life inspires me more when compared to Mandela whose honest real claim to fame is his many years behind bars and his hypnotising speeches. Don’t get me wrong though, just like all the people, I love Mandela, for no reason.
Nkate is a brave guy and he is the only guy who can challenge anyone who is earmarked by Khama as his successor. Unlike many in the BDP, Nkate is not afraid of Khama. Those who worked with Nkate in the BDP central committee will tell you he is the only guy who had the guts to order alcoholic beverages in front of Khama. Many people would never even dream of consuming alcohol in the presence of Khama. Not Jakes. You see, some people are complaining about Khama’s succession plan which clearly indicates his desire to sustain the Khama dynasty. Khama wants to remain an invisible president even after his departure from the presidency. I don’t know when it will happen but I will not be surprised if Khama’s succession plan ends up elevating his brother to the presidency.
To tell the truth and shame the devil, I don’t blame Khama for appointing his brother to cabinet.
Yes it might not look right but the truth is, it’s permissible, constitutionally. Given a chance like him, many of us would do the same or even do worse. Why should Khama’s brother miss opportunities when our constitution allows nepotism? Let us not blame Khama. If there is anything wrong with what Khama is doing then the problem is not him but the absence of rules. As it stands, we can whine all we want but Khama is legally covered to do as he pleases. He is the only one with powers to appoint people in key government positions. That explains why the current cabinet is made up of people who would report to duty wearing only their boxer shorts were Khama to order they do so. They never question his decisions because they feel they owe him some allegiance for their appointments. And indeed they owe him because he has the authority to pick and drop them whenever he feels like.
Now if people fear that Khama is positioning his brother to take over from him, the only way to frustrate his plan is to find someone who is brave enough to stand in the way of Khama’s succession plan. That candidate is Jacob Nkate. With Daniel Kwelagobe and Ponatshego Kedikilwe now in the dustbins of the BDP, I don’t see any of the current mafikizolos standing up to become the next BDP heavyweight. Infact none of the BDP young turks seem to have presidential ambitions. None of them has displayed such aspirations the way Nkate has done. From the look of it, the choice of the next president will solely depend on Khama. I urge Nkate to stand for BDP chairmanship in preparation for battle to succeed Ian Khama. Yes you can Jakes!