Minister of Tourism Tshekedi Khama has hinted at a possible exit from the ministry following the eminent appointment of Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi as the next President of the Republic. Masisi, who is set to replace Tshekedi’s brother, Ian Khama, as president next Sunday April 1st 2018, is expected to appoint a new cabinet and vice president shortly after inauguration. Speaking at the Giants Club conservation summit in Kasane recently Tshekedi expressed his apprehension at the possibility of his “successor” not harboring the same passion he has for wildlife conservation.
Tshekedi said the statement in reference to why the regional conservation organization Space for Giants were working directly in partnership with Tlhokomela Trust as opposed to the government.
“Governments all over the world are the same. If I could assure you that my successor will have the same passion for conservation as I have, we would engage with you (Space for Giants) directly,” Tshekedi said.
He went onto say that “whether I remain in this office or not” he would make sure the ministry appreciates that the natural environment and wildlife are the most important asset that any country has. Speaking to Sunday Standard on the sidelines of the summit Tshekedi reiterated his position on the uncertainty of his fate.
“I cannot confirm to you whether I will remain Minister or not. It is Mokgweetsi (Masisi)’s call. We don’t even know who will be vice president,” Tshekedi told Sunday Standard.
The race for the country’s next vice president remains Botswana’s best kept secret. There have been speculations about who is to succeed Vice President Masisi following his appointment as President on April 1st.
Masisi is the third Vice President under President Ian Khama’s administration having followed in the footsteps of the late Mompati Merafhe, and retired Ponatshego Kedikilwe.
While some may view Tshekedi’s possible appointment to the vice presidency as too controversial given his family ties, his name has cropped up among those of possible candidates. Sources say his brother has been lobbying behind the scenes for Tshekedi to be considered for the position. Ministers Slumber Tsogwane, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, and Moyo Guma have also made the list of potential candidates. It remains to be seen who will take over the position. Only time will tell.