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Khama attacks China, Trump

Publishing Date : 07 January, 2019

Author : DAVE BAAITSE

Former President, Lt Gen Ian Khama has continued to express his resentment towards the current President of United States (US), Donald Trump for his style of leadership and his incessant revulsion for African countries. Khama recently clashed with government following his remarks on Trump recently at Serowe Kgotla.


A statement released by Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation said, Khama’s words maybe misconstrued to represent the position of the government of Botswana. Khama has however refused to be apologetic about his stand on Trump, a position he has held about the US president since 2016 when the latter run for office. Khama openly supported Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.


“This government shutdown affecting about 800 000 workers, it’s all due to the fact that he wants to build the wall between United States and Mexico to keep people out and that the ruling by the division that he is doing,” Khama told WeekendPost. “ I would have thought that its clear to everybody at that time [when he stated criticizing him] even before that time and since that time, Donald trump has continued to display the arrogant behaviour towards other people and United States is far the worst place that it has ever been because of that and its dragging the world into a bad place because of his behaviour.”


Khama said, naturally, US, as a should be speaking against countries such as China, which he feels oppresses its citizens based on religions, alleging that Christian and Muslim leaders are being persecuted based on believes.  “This is whereby you expected the United States like it was, all its different political administration over the years, and one thing that they have constant, whether Democratic or Republicans, to have actually taken a leadership position on this kind of issues and Trump has just totally abandoned those principles and he just goes around insulting everybody,” said Khama.


“Just look at the number of people leaving in his administration, the very senior people because, even if they may be the same party-political credentials but they have just realized that here they are dealing with a loose cannon, unguided missile in way of his approach in day-to-day events.” Khama said owing to the behaviour of Trump he is disappointed that government went ahead to defend him in recent government statement.


“I just think it’s not something that we cannot ignore and people needs to speak out and to defend him, the way it was done recently through that press release, I just think it’s extremely disappointing that we are now slimily abandoning the democratic credentials that we have built up many year since our independences,” he said. Khama said during his presidency, he deliberately ensured that Botswana’s position is well known on issues concerning human rights violations.  


“Back then when I was still in office, we took a strong stand when it came to Mugabe in neighbouring Zimbabwe. We took a similar decision about Syria, which has the leader there, the government have continued to seriously brutalise their people, murder their people with the assistance of allies like Russia,” he said. “We have seen that during that time there was an effort to bring about resolution that would end war in Syria, but it was blocked by countries like Russia and China. That is not surprising because they are countries with very poor human rights credentials.”


Khama said his administration also we criticised countries like North Korea, Saudi Arabia and countries like Venezuela. He contended that Botswana as a member of international community must take a stand and avoid keeping quiet, because if she keeps quiet those kinds of situations perpetuate themselves.


“I have met with the heads of states, foreign ministers and the diplomats who will come and tell the press how much they admire Botswana position concerning our stand on this kind of issues and they were encouraging us, to make even specifically, many African diplomats when they came to present the credential, they will say Botswana is just a shining light  for African continent and  we will really like to follow that example and be like you guys,” he said.


“So you could see that it makes a difference people listen even if it may not make an immediate impact, if it may not change people mind there and there but at least you have planted the seed in the minds of what is it the right thing to do, the right approach to take concerning those issues.”

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