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Khama wants to meet Masisi privately

Publishing Date : 15 October, 2018

Author : TEBOGO KGALEMANG

Former President Ian Khama has said the tussle between him and his successor President Mokgweetsi Masisi can only be resolved if the two of them can face each other privately as former friends without involvement of third parties.  


Khama said the two of them can talk from where they left off before giving him the baton on the 1st of April 2018. “The best outcome will be to continue where we left off: where I thought we had a good understanding and relationship,” Khama told this publication, adding that, “You do not need a mediator.” He stressed that all that President Masisi was to do, was to simply make a single phone call and call him for a private meeting where they can talk one-on-one on their own.


“I have never said to a single one that when he [Masisi] say let’s meet, I would say ‘no, I do not want to meet you’. All he needs is a call, that is if he thinks there is something that he wants to talk about,” said Khama. While Khama claims that the fallout between them started when President Masisi refused him access to the presidential aircraft in April and refusal of State media coverage, impeccable sources in the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) also claim that the watershed moment was Masisi’s choice for Vice President.


They contend that Khama wanted Masisi to appoint his (Khama) brother, Tshekedi Khama the Vice President, not Slumber Tsogwane. Khama had also wanted to have control of government after leaving office, sources indicated. Asked to comment on the believe that the two fell out as a result of President Masisi going against the principles of a secret meeting he allegedly had with him before handing over the baton, Khama became cagey.


Among the things reportedly discussed involved the appointment of Vice President and other key figures in the upper echelons of power. “We had a lot of secret meetings discussing many things,” Khama said. When asked to comment specifically on the meeting where they discussed how President Masisi was to rule, Khama said: “I will never tell him how to run the country; otherwise he would not be doing some of the things he is doing now. Masisi is the president, he can do what he likes, hiring and firing. And some of them I do not like. But as a former president, I know some things people will not like.  So, nna I am just going on with my life.”


 Khama noted that if the differences were not going to be resolved, “Nna ke siame. Even now I am not asking for aircraft. I am flying privately. If they do not want to help me, fine, I will go my own way, they go their own way, and we will see where it takes us.”


KHAMA’S ALLEGED MASTER PLAN TO OUST MASISI

On the allegations that Khama was doing everything possible to oust the President Masisi, Khama confirmed that he was also alive to the said allegations against him. The allegations purport that Khama has three strategies in place, the first one being to have a Member of Parliament to table a motion of no confidence against President Masisi in November. If the plan does not succeed, Khama will then wait for next year’s Special Congress where he will have his younger brother Tshekedi to challenge President Masisi.


BDP constitution provides that during an election year, the party meets for the purpose electing party president.  If this plan also fails, Khama will then resort to the formation of a break-away party. It is believed that he will not be fully active in the party during its early stages but he will be pulling the strings from behind.  While he confirmed knowledge of the said allegations against himself, Khama said people were just accusing him for anything that other people are planning against Masisi.


 “I do not know why anything that has been planned against Masisi by other people they say it is me. Why should they say it is me because other people are planning them?” he asked. Asked what will be his reaction should those alleged to be planning to oust President Masisi succeed, Khama said he will not comment on that. He said that whatever strong feeling he has against President Masisi, he will not talk about it.


This publication can confirm that the new party which will start next year July with at least six members of parliament plus one former MP as of now. Two MPs, who recently won BDP primaries elections [names known to this publication], will assume the positions of President and Secretary General.


I’M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MABAILA’S ACTIONS

Khama has also highlighted that he should not be blamed for Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Mogoditshane parliamentary Tshephang Mabaila’s actions which led to him being slapped with a five year suspension from the party last week after being found guilty by the Disciplinary Committee.  “I am not responsible for Mabaila’s actions. I have not sent him to do whatever he was alleged to have done,” he said.


Mabaila was last week slapped with a five year suspension by the party’s disciplinary committee. When it was put to Khama that there was a strong allegation that he influenced the young man to misbehave because of his tussle with President Masisi, Khama said,  “If people out there choose to support me it does not mean that I send them to misbehave. The issue is between me and Masisi,” said Khama.


Immediately after the verdict was delivered, Mabaila disclosed that he will stand as an independent candidate in Mogoditshane and cursed those who conspired to have him suspended especially Alfred Madigele and Setlhomo Lelatisitswe. “I am happy that Madigele lost the primary elections in Molapowabojang-Mathethe and I am hoping that Lelatisitswe will lose in Boteti East,” he said.


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