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Mogae should reconcile Khama and Masisi

Publishing Date : 15 August, 2018

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As cracks of feud continue to surface between former President Lt Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama and current President Mokgweetsi Masisi the nation has been calling for a reconciliation exercise between the two. The bone of contention has been that the fallout may ultimately create two centers of power that may subsequently overshadow Masisi’s presidency while Khama continues to enjoy power from behind the scenes.

This week former President Khama came out with guns blazing in Mabolwe in the Bobirwa Constituency attacking area Member of Parliament Shaw Kgathi of being disrespectful. Khama was invited to officiate at the launch of a trust founded by a BDP parliamentary candidate Francisco Kgoboko who is expected to give Kgathi a run for his money at the next BDP primary elections very soon. The move was viewed as a tactical approach by Khama to endorse his favorite and preferred choice of candidate.

Allegations have been very rife that Khama will continue launching his ‘people’ around the country, a move which will obviously weaken Masisi’s grip on power and possibly create paranoia on his side. On Thursday this week The Office of the President, through a statement informed the general public that Masisi, will travel to Harare, Zimbabwe on Sunday, 12th August 2018 to attend the Inauguration Ceremony of the President Elect of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Dambuzo Mnangagwa, following the country’s historic elections held on 30th July 2018.

Accompanying President Masisi on the trip will be former presidents; Festus Mogae and Lt General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama aboard the Presidential Jet, OK1, at His Excellency’s invitation.  The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, and the Deputy Secretary General of the Botswana Democratic Party, Shaw Kgathi will also part of the delegation. His Excellency the President and delegation will return to Gaborone on the same day’.

The idea to put both former presidents Khama and Mogae on the trip is viewed as a welcome move to try to stabilise situation. Khama has served under Mogae as his Vice President from 1998 to 2008. It is widely known that it is Mogae who roped in Khama, a former military officer into politics.

During their time the two had never had fallout and they seem to understand each other well. Having won the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, Mogae is hailed amongst the best leaders of his time in African politics. The Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee composed of eminent figures, including two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

In April 1st , 2017 former president Mogae also got tested when he mediated the talks of South Sudan rebel leader, Riek Machar as the head of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, where the two discussed President Salva Kiir’s calls for a unilateral ceasefire and a national dialogue.  His experienced of African politics is beyond measure. The meeting held on 31st March, officials said, mainly focused on ways of finding meaningful solutions to the conflict in war- hit South Sudan. 

Quipped with this much needed experience, it is our belief that the Sunday trip to Zimbabwe should Khama agree to go, can be the beginning of reconciliation talks between Khama and Masisi. It is in the interest of the party and the nation that Masisi and Khama are reconciled.
 The move will be a welcome developed in the party that was forced to postpone its primary elections which were scheduled for this weekend.

 The party Secretary General Mpho Balopi cited hacking of the system as the reason for postponement while political analysts view it as a move to avoid humiliation on president Masisi as his favourites will go down the drain. With Kgathi already biting the dust, Khama is already on the ground pushing his younger brother Tshekedi Khama and his longtime ally Thapelo Olopeng. He is also billed to visit Nata- Gweta constituency where he will also endorse his choice of candidate. 



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