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Maele gives Khama 250 thousand Pula

Publishing Date : 27 February, 2018


President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s farewell tours have revealed that most Batswana especially in the villages still hold to the spirit of giving, but it has also come out that there is a contest playing out as to which constituency will give the most to the revered outgoing President.

President Khama on Friday held a farewell kgotla meeting in the Palapye and Lerala-Maunatlala constituencies respectively. While it was a smooth farewell gesture at the Palapye kgotla, the Lerala kgotla was pregnant with allegations. The organisers of the President’s farewell are at each other’s throat over the source of funds – but ultimately serenity prevailed with the fanfare sweeping out the tensions and Khama accepting the goodies.

The area Member of Parliament, Prince Maele who is also Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, was at the centre of most of the discussions, with some accusing him of forcing the constituency to buy the President a tractor. Maele had raised P250 000 for President Khama’s farewell from his friends and each of the 16 villages in the constituency was given a target of P21 000 which amounts to P336 000, confirmed the secretary of the organizing committee, Mr Kebaabetswe Sethong.

But Kgosi Moroka of Lerala came to the Minister’s defence insisting that the decision to buy the tractor was agreed and constituency decided on the tractor. Moroka’s village contributed about P41 000 towards President Khama’s farewell. It emerged that the Minister has refused to divulge the source of the P250 000 cash donations. Despite the Member of Parliament clashing with some members of the organizing committee who felt that he had sidelined them in the process of identifying a gift for president Khama, Maele revealed at the farewell meeting that the money was raised by the constituents and some of it came from contributions made by friends.

Meanwhile Sethong indicated that they decided to give President Khama P55 000 of the amount remaining but they will give any excess amount the evaluation. He said more contributions were still coming in after the kgotla meeting. He pointed out that BIUST gave them P25 000 and the farming community injected P10 000. “The price of the tractor was P394 494.67, we were given a discount of over P100 000 as donation towards the President hence the true value of the tractor is just over P500 000,” he said.

According to sources, Maele was of the view that he is not compelled to disclose the friends who helped him raise the money. The present speaks to Khama’s expressed desires of joining farming or agriculture upon retirement. But some in the village were concerned that Minister Maele was hell bent on beating other villages to the ‘crown’ of who done it best for President Khama. His detractors posit that he took aim at Tonota where President Khama received about 50 cattle and a cheque of P100 000 among other presents; as well as Moshupa where the President was showered with a lot of cattle as gifts.

Tonota is a constituency currently under one of Khama’s right hand men, Thapelo Olopeng who is also Minister of Youth Empowerment and Sport Development. The Moshupa constituency is held by Vice President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi. Khama has been showered with gifts that will make his dream to become a farmer come true instantly. He has already received hundreds of cattle, goats, sheep and chickens which should safely kick start his farming life. Efforts to contact Minister Maele were not successful.



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