Monday, February 26, 2024

TK’s endgame remains shrouded in mystery ÔÇô he needs to come out of the cocoon

By many accounts there is still a chance, however remote, that Tshekedi Khama might ultimately throw his name inside the ring and take a swing at the presidency when a vacancy arises as is expected to in the next few years.

While that might for now feel like overplaying his hand rather too much, when it comes to the still unfolding succession drama, the man is not by any stretch insignificant.

Tshekedi Khama it must be pointed out is the younger brother to President Ian Khama.

Their father was the founding president of the republic.

While remote, such a possibility by itself is further proof of what a messy affair the succession drama is almost certainly going to be.

Perhaps sensing his growing stranglehold inside Government, the minister’s behavior has been growing increasingly unpredictable and very hard to decipher. Increasingly he behaves like a man who is absolutely sure of his destiny. 

Like him or hate him, in a rather strange way, Tshekedi Khama is the only cabinet minister who is in a true meaning of the word, his own man.

Because he is in a company of spineless acolytes, his independence of mind is often wrongly portrayed as bordering on rebellion.

To say he is a rebel is to underestimate his innate streak of independent-mindedness.

So independent is the posture adopted by Tshekedi that his demeanour is fast establishing itself as one of the leading folklores inside both party and government.

His recent decision to hire into his ministry army officers that had recently been sacked by the president is an example of independent mindedness that is unheard of inside the current administration.

Given the extent to which our cabinet ministers cower before President Ian Khama, this Government would be better off if it had in it two people like Tshekedi Khama who would provide the much needed diversity of opinion.

The man is by every stretch an interesting character.

Most interesting about him is the fact that nobody in government, including the president knows how to rein him in.

By bringing him inside cabinet, hope was that Tshekedi would somehow be impelled by the restraining protocol under the principle of collective responsibility. That has not worked.

In fact the opposite seems to be happened.

Naturally, this has made him to be never too far away from controversy.

As the D-Day approaches, it is growing increasingly clear that there are many things inside both party and Government that Tshekedi does not agree with.

If he seriously wants to be a contender for the presidency, TK must leave cabinet so that he could start speaking his mind unbridled by cabinet etiquette.

Resigning from cabinet will free him from such shackles and allow him to pointing out the many evils of his brother’s Government that he does not agree with.

Ian Khama has been such a disaster that anybody who needs to succeed him will have to openly keep a distance from him.

But still the odds are heavily stacked against Tshekedi.

While he works hard at selling himself as an outsider, the fact of the matter is that he is an insider through and through.

There is another baggage.

It is near impossible to see Tshekedi Khama outside his name. Tainted and imprisoned by one’s name, is the closest one can best describe the minister responsible for wildlife, tourism and the environment.

More than a blessing, the Khama name has been a curse to Tshekedi ÔÇô if not in anyway, then certainly in a political sense.

And that is not all.

His roughshod attitude should make his supporters wary of his prospects.

Where his elder brother is introverted, Tshekedi is gregarious and extroverted.

To skeptics, just as Mokgweetsi Masisi exhibits traits that he could turn out to be far worse than Ian Khama, there is nothing positively reassuring about Tshekedi Khama.

TK is excessively brash, unrepentantly abrasive in style, exceedingly single-minded and too strong-willed.

Opponents are brushed aside with contemptuous rigour.

He shows off signs of potential unilateralism that are only tampered by a reluctant acknowledgement that he does not as yet have the kind of power to do as he pleases.

If it is true that he has bigger political ambitions than what he has so far achieved, then it is important to point out that the man has already made some big mistakes that on their own can already discount him.

One such mistake was accepting a cabinet appointment.

The longer he stays in cabinet, the more difficult it will become for him to convince anybody that he really was never part of the mess, including institutionalized corruption that is so much a character of Ian Khama’s Government.

It offers no comfort that he is part of the Khama dynasty.

There is no evidence yet of any more appetite for another Khama at the helm ÔÇô not at party level, and certainly not at party level.

The name no longer carries the kind of political capital that it did when his elder brother joined politics.

In fact a good number of the ruling party elite cannot wait to see the departure of Ian Khama.

The arrival of another Khama would for them feel like being sentenced to life in prison.

When all is said and done, TK’s endgame still remains shrouded in mystery. He needs to come out of the cocoon. And also start working on the negatives that count down his chances of becoming a third Khama to occupy the State House. And time is running out.


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