Friday, August 12, 2022

Rammidi faces expulsion from cabinet

The Assistant Minister of Local Government, Kentse Rammidi, is holding on to his place in cabinet by a thin thread.

This comes after President Ian Khama wrote him a warning letter, reprimanding him for criticizing other ministers in public.

Khama’s letter follows a formal complaint by Minister of Health Dr. John Seakgosing.

In his complaint to cabinet, Dr. Seakgosing said Rammidi’s public utterances at an occasion to hand over a clinic by the ruling party Treasurer and philanthropist Satar Dada in Kanye two weeks ago could harm Government’s efforts to deliver services to the public.

When delivering a vote of thanks at the occasion, Rammidi had said there were simmering complaints among his constituents in Kanye.

On behalf of his constituents Rammidi had registered a complaint against the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Kanye, saying there was a groundswell of dissatisfaction with the quality of services offered at the hospital.

Other than waiting for long before being attended at the Seventh Day Adventist hospital, Kanye residents also complain that for a greater part the hospital is in short of many other prescriptions.

This they said to the Acting Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe when he received a clinic on behalf of Government from Satar Dada.

This, said Rammidi, was despite the fact that the hospital, which is owned by the church, continued to receive money from the Government.

When contacted, Rammidi declined to comment, saying discussions between ministers and the president were confidential.

But The Telegraph can confirm that Rammidi has been reprimanded.

An insider at the Office of the President said it could have been worse.

Initially, the President had demanded a public retraction but climbed down to a reprimand after advice from Acting Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe.

Kedikilwe had been tasked to convene a meeting between Rammidi and Seakgosing to establish the logistics under which Rammidi was expected to go to Kanye to publicly apologise before his constituents.

There are suspicions that the President is trying to punish Rammidi for his insistence that the BDP should hold elections at a congress in July.

Khama wants a compromise and has already instructed party Chairman Daniel Kwelagobe to put the party into the compromise mode.

Rammidi wants to become the BDP Secretary General.

He has already notified Khama about his intensions, to which Khama has replied Rammidi cannot have it both ways.

In the meantime, Rammidi is said to be consulting his constituency, ahead of the BDP National Council late March, by which time he would have completed consultations.

Close observers say Rammidi’s treatment at the hands of President Khama has all the hallmarks of how, three years ago, Botsalo Ntuane then a BDP Member of Parliament was forced to publicly retract a statement he had made referring Botswana to a fundamentalist state after President Khama introduced alcohol levy and reduced alcohol trading hours.

Self abasement and a public apology are Khama’s preferred punishment of all transgressions.

Former BDP Secretary General Gomolemo Motswaledi was also made to grovel before the president after he [Motswaledi] took issue with the party lawyers for having made public a legal opinion before delivering it to him when he had been the one to seek it on behalf of the party.

Both Motswaledi and Ntuane were to later break away to form the opposition Botswana Movement for Democracy.

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