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Khama did not appoint me – Masisi

Publishing Date : 09 September, 2019

Author : UTLWANANG GASENNELWE

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has this week assured the international community that there is no crisis in Botswana. Botswana caught wave of international news lately in the ongoing power feud between incumbent president Masisi and the former president Ian Khama.


Khama has fallen out with his former no. 2 over a supposedly “secret deal” that they agreed and later not implemented - at the expense of the nation. The ex-president has now dumped the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) - as its patron - which he later aligned with the main opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). The battle ground has been drawn and Masisi has already released a writ of elections for polls to be conducted on October 3, 2019 as is the norm.


Speaking to the international media, specifically CNBC Africa, at the ongoing World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, Masisi insisted that Botswana is not undergoing any crisis with regard to politics and elections. President Masisi sat down with CNBC Africa’s Fifi Peters and touched on diversifying the country’s economy from a resource based economy to a knowledge based economy as well the upcoming general elections.


“On your other point of Botswana not being no more boring, of course Botswana is not boring. But look there is no crisis in Botswana. There is absolutely no crisis,” Masisi insisted. He added that “there is predictability, there is the rule of law applied. There is calmness. The elections are coming. Everything is being done regularly.”  According to Masisi, the very fact that we have something unprecedented in a former president campaigning with the opposition cannot be overemphasized.


“He never said he wants to be president. He said he wants this president (me, as Masisi) who succeeded him to lose elections,” Masisi pointed out. He asked rhetorically; what’s so irregular about an opponent wanting the other not to win? “Hey this is Botswana. We are going to have an election in October,” the fifth president maintained. When Peter asked if it isn’t that an opponent (Khama) that appointed him to this position? No, he didn’t appoint me, it’s the constitution, get it right, he said.


“When you see a human relationship altercate, don’t mistaken it to be a crisis in a country. Don’t. Former president Khama is not Botswana. President Masisi is not Botswana,” Masisi lashed out. He observed that the elections of Botswana; the processes as run by institutions, are what make up Botswana; and the results of the election will be what Botswana wants - that’s what assured. “But if I speak in a very biased way as I would for my party, I expect it to win. But you know, when you talk to an opponent they also expect to win. But that’s the bias of the individual, and the parties.”


Masisi explained what he is sure of is that Botswana will go through due process and that a winner will be wielded and a government will be formed. “It is predictable. It is stable. This Botswana is stable,” he said. Peter then interjected to ask Masisi: “in terms of what the people who vote for you to power can hold you accountable before should you win, should you win, what can they hold you accountable in terms of the promises by way of job creation clearly for the young people but also for Botswana strife to diversify its economic streams? What can the people hold you accountable to?”


Masisi responded: “they can hold me account to what we have stated in our manifesto, which is our commitment to create jobs, to diversify the economy, our commitment to navigate the economy to increasingly transform from being a resource based economy to a knowledge based economy.” He added that they can hold him accountable to the development of the electric motor vehicle, perhaps even solar powered. They can hold me accountable for the transformation that we want to put in place in our public service, he said while adding that they can hold him accountable for growth in the private sector.


Masisi continued: “they can hold me accountable for reaching out and engaging more with the international community. They can hold me accountable for bringing in more visitors, more tourists, and more investments. That yes they must be hold accountable for, and they will, because I will be there with them.”


When asked what if he is unable to achieve them, the president stated that if he is unable to achieve the things that he promised, then “well it’s another story. I expect not to be unable to achieve it.” “So why should I waste my time thinking about how am going to answer my people if I am not able to? Clearly there may be objective reasons for that but I don’t waste my time with that, I focus on doing what we are going to do,” Masisi concluded.

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