Home » News » Comments » Masisi should appoint people with integrity in cabinet

Masisi should appoint people with integrity in cabinet

Publishing Date : 27 March, 2018

Author :

As the curtain falls on Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama’s presidency, incoming President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s first task will be to constitute a group of men and women who will help him govern this country. A lot has happened during his predecessor reign— although Masisi may not publicly admit, he wishes to do things differently to create his own legacy. Masisi has the best chance to make a name for himself and make Botswana great.

Unlike President Khama, Masisi assumes the presidency with low expectations from the society, something which gives him better opportunity of rising to the occasion. Khama was greatly admired during his tenure as Vice President, despite that goodwill he amassed; he leaves the office of the presidency as a man who divides opinion, both within his party and to the general public.  

In simple convey, President Khama is not what some people thought he would be. But to some he was a great leader. During his tenure as Vice Presidency, he depicted himself as more of people centred leader; someone with a wonderful capacity of including others, an opposite of his boss then Festus Mogae, who was less concerned with populist endeavours.  Khama’s initiatives such as the open door policy, where by ordinary citizens were allowed to come to his office to lodge their complaints earned him admiration from the rank and file.

It was only after his ascendancy to the presidency that the citizens realised that Khama possessed traits that hindered him from harnessing the goodwill he enjoyed to his advantage. He came across to some as intolerant and only lent ear to a circle of few lieutenants, for both advice and running his government. By so doing, he discarded a lot of talented individuals and sidelined more people both in the party and in the public service. But there are still plenty who speak well of his presidency.

It is obvious that Khama worships loyalty as a matter of principle, something which prevented him from seeing good from those who occasionally differed. Because of this, his lieutenants became ‘yes men’ who hindered meritocracy in his administration. Most leaders would do this but some allow questioning and critiquing.

Some of his trusted men, if not all, are the reason why the country finds itself in some of the troubles today. They are the reason BDP registered its worst electoral performance since independence. For the first time since formation, BDP received less than 50 percent of the popular vote, an indirect vote of no confidence from the populace. These are the mistakes that Masisi should avoid at all the cost.

His first task as the President would be appointing his deputy, a task that should be easy considering the number of people he chooses from. In choosing his deputy, Masisi should not be blinded by loyalty but he should look for the most capable man. Masisi should take a leaf from his predecessors such as Sir Ketumie Masire, whom in 1992, following the resignation of his number two, Peter Mmusi — chose Mogae, a new comer to be his deputy.

Masire bypassed Ponatshego Kedikilwe and Mompati Merafhe to go for the man who was little known in political arena. Though he admits the two [PHK and Merafhe] were capable, he bypassed them because they embroiled in a bitter factional wars stirred by succession plans. Mogae had little or no presidential ambitions, but was a man who had spent the entire civil service career serving the nation, as one of the architects of the country’s economy. Masire did what was in the interest of both the party and the country.

Had Masire been blinded by loyalty, he would have gone for one of the factional leaders in PHK and Merafhe, a decision which would have polarised the party or even destabilised the country.  Masisi needs this kind of wisdom. Notwithstanding the fact that prior to his death, Masire was endorsed Masisi, he needs to bring a culture of excellence in the public service.

It goes without a saying that in appointing his cabinet, he should leave out many out of the cabinet. A lot of people have proven to be a threat to the national purse therefore they should be kept as far as possible from the executive.
Not all Masisi loyalists deserve to be in cabinet, some are simply not the best in the pool of MPs he has. In the same token, not all his perceived enemies deserved to be left out of cabinet. Masisi needs to use logic as opposed to emotions in appointing his cabinet. We wish him the best!



Do you think the courts will help put the UDC, BMD impasse within reasonable time ahead of the 2019 General Election?