Ke le dumedisa ka PULA lotlhe Batswana.
I wish you good health and safe livelihoods. I hope you have all had the pleasure of the company of your families and friends during the just ended President’s day break and have returned safely to your places of regular abode.
The first truth that the nation is now accustomed to is that President Masisi never speaks the truth and there seems to be no end to his dishonesty!
I listened to the false utterances made by Masisi at the just ended National Council of the Botswana Democratic Party (the BDP), which have been widely circulated on various media platforms. As you will all be aware the remarks were directed at me in a language and mannerism that you can interpret for yourselves. Having reflected deeply and with an open mind we will address Masisi’s assertions in three parts in order to give Batswana the full picture with sufficient detail.
For the moment we will deal with the first three of the allegations; namely the issue of Tshekedi Khama as Vice President; my alleged lack of support for Masisi for the BDP chairmanship; and what started off as mediation attempts by two separate teams of BDP elders.
In dealing with the issues I am still bound by the Oath of Secrecy that I sore to. I therefore cannot discuss Cabinet Minutes or Procedures except in clarifying inaccuracies, untruths and gross misrepresentation as has happened in this case.
It is my observation that Dr. Masisi has either suffered a cruel loss of memory in most if not all of the allegations he is levelling at me possibly due to mental fatigue or breakdown, or has chosen to forget facts as known to him and I, and those that were in Cabinet and Senior Public Service positions during my Presidency. Incidentally Dr. Masisi made similar claims and accusations in the run up to the 2019 general elections as he is doing now on the eve of the 2024 general elections.
From his comfort zone and youthful exuberance he has now chosen to throw scorpions, toyed with the oath of secrecy as an established principle of good governance, twisted the facts and invented stories that he knows never happened.
Dr. Masisi would be well advised to realise that the constitutional provision of immunity from prosecution assumes integrity and honesty on the part of a sitting President.
Tshekedi Kama for Vice President:
This is one of the most offensive misrepresentations of facts by Dr. Masisi. I never even considered my brother Tshekedi for Vice President and never asked Masisi to appoint him. I would have chosen Tshekedi on my own had I wanted to and I never needed Dr. Masisi’s help to do so. Although Dr. Masisi ranked fourth in the list of candidates suggested to me by the BDP caucus I had made up my mind on him ahead of stronger contenders and despite a spirited Cabinet revolt against him. This was my decision and mine alone.
His colleagues protested and warned me in his presence, as did several Senior Public officers separately including some who remain in government today, that Masisi was not a fit and proper person to be President. They believed that he lacked maturity and statesmanship, he was too casual and not renowned for integrity, and that he was a divisive character who did not respect public officers. Some of the public officers confided in me issues of ill-treatment, use of derogatory language and gross impoliteness. I genuinely was not aware of the intensity of this personality problem as I had no evidence of it. My insistence on him as my preferred choice was based on what I now realise was fake behaviour that he displayed during our interactions, something I will forever regret. Had I known this Masisi would have walked! I gave him the benefit of doubt, protected and appointed him. I even invited those that did not want him to resign if they so wished. The notion that I may have expected any favours from him in return is just an illusion because I never needed any then nor do I need any now beyond my constitutional entitlements as a former President. If it were possible to press the undo button I would not hesitate.
Not supporting Masisi for BDP Chairmanship
I believe that members of the BDP themselves including those that were in attendance at the just ended National Council know and stand for the truth. Some of you were there in Mmadinare and Tonota. You judge for yourselves! You will recall the ‘Camp Dubai’ tent and my prevailing on contenders to not disrupt Masisi’s chances for success. I played my part in making sure he prevailed. Forgive him for forgetting this as there appears to be a memory lapse!
Mediation efforts by BDP elders
The Mogae team was chosen by Masisi alone. I had no opportunity to have a say in the composition of the team but I nonetheless accommodated them. They wanted to ignore my complaints of curtailment and withdrawal of my privileges by Masisi that were going on when they came to see me. They insisted that I go and appear before Masisi without accommodating my submissions on the agenda of our suggested meeting by them. What was the problem with both sides submitting issues for discussion if there was any sincerity and fairness in mediation? Of course I refused, and they left. I did not expel them.
I have been asked what I make of former President Mogae’s remarks about myself as his chosen successor. I will neither react to nor address Ra-Nametso out of regard for his advanced age. My respect for him as my senior and predecessor, and his privilege of commentary without boundary as a former President remains constant.
Lastly I never chose any group of elders to favour me. The second team of Mr. Satar Dada, Mr. Charles Tibone, Ambassador Legwaila Legwaila, and Mr. Daniel Kwelagobe came to me on their own. I invited my Chief Executive, Mr. Kaboeamodimo to join me and hear what they had to say. They said they had come to seek my return to the BDP as in their view, the party was or is in disarray due to my separation from it and my campaigning against it and the significant loss of the Central District vote that will get wider in 2024. We met several times until they gave up, not on me, but on Masisi whom they said was making himself unavailable to them. I did not expel them. They abandoned the effort on their own. In exasperation one of them coined the phrase “but we cannot clap with one hand” in reference to failing to get Masisi to make himself available to them.
Finally, as a measure of his inability to resist being untruthful, who is not aware of Dr. Masisi’s tendency to get into material contradictions of ‘bolope and bolatswa thipa’, caught on video saying it and then trying to deny it when he contemplated his prospects for 2019; and his false claim of ever having offered me his resignation while he was my Vice President. Who is not aware of Dr Masisi’s penchant for foul language even when he addresses people older than him; who is not aware of Dr. Masisi’s disdain for Labour Unions that ultimately led to the 2011 Public Sector Strike – when he and his officials advised me to not meet the Labour Unions when I wanted to as they felt that I would be compromising the work of the Bargaining Council!
Now for him to take advantage of his present position and resort to blackmailing me is the height of hypocrisy and lack of integrity on his part as a sitting President.
I close with a peek of many occurrences that will not wash away self-inflicted mental grief – Gaborone Dam on the eve of the 2019 elections; archived loose tongue voice recordings; and the 2019 electoral ransom. Let the sleeping dogs lie!
In the next couple of days we will get to the full bouquet of the following as a result of what Masisi said and insinuated about me and his claim of integrity at the BDP National Council:
Rest assured these are serious issues on which we will leave no stone unturned, and make no mistake the political Armageddon will arrive!
Pula Batswana Betsho!
Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama
Former President of the Republic of Botswana
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