Botswana:Masisi Drunk on Power says Khama
By Prince Kurupati
Former President of Botswana Ian Khama is lashing out at current President Mokgweetsi Masisi for been drunk on power. Khama spoke his mind during an interview with Peter Clottey of VOA’s Nightline Africa radio program.
During the interview, Khama was asked about the allegations of corruption that he is currently facing. He vehemently denied the claims saying that the allegations were all part of a plot by Masisi and his friends to silence him so that he does not voice his concerns about the direction the country is facing.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s administration alleges that Khama misappropriated billions in the local currency during his two terms as Botswana president. While no case has been opened as yet, rumours doing the rounds suggest that it’s only a matter of time before Khama is dragged before the courts. Khama during his interview said that he plans to take the matter to court himself to sue the government and clear his name and called the allegations ‘laughable’.
The ‘laughable’ false accusation according to Khama is simply a payback by members of the ruling party, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for his decision to campaign against them in the recent presidential election. “The only reason that this was done was because a few months ago I resigned from the ruling party. Because they had abandoned our democratic credentials that we have had such a good reputation with up to this point in time.”
Khama went on to state that “They (Masisi administration) swore that they would ‘get at me and fix me’ in their own words for having done that (campaigning against the ruling party in the recent presidential election).”
Botswana’s Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime Jako Hubona recently accused Khama and two other former high ranking government officials of transferring state funds to personal bank accounts in Hong Kong and South Africa. At the moment, no charges have been pressed against Khama but Weleminah Maswabi, a former senior intelligence officer was formally charged.
Khama said Masisi was drunk on power as all he strives for is to reverse all the work that he put in place during his presidency. Khama used the reverse on the ban on trophy hunting of elephants to illustrate his point. Khama said though Masisi is bent on uprooting his legacy by destroying the policies that he put in place, he has not done anything to interfere. “A new administration is at liberty to introduce its own policies. So when he did it I just said, ‘Well that’s fine,’ … he’s the president today. If he wants to bring about those policy changes, he’s quite entitled to do so. I did the same thing. So who am I to try and challenge them.”
According to Khama, the only thing that he is worried about is the state of democracy in the country. He said Botswana has been sliding down on the democracy scale something which is exemplified by the fact that the ruling party postponed primary elections three times in the build up to the recent presidential election. All postponements came after reports of alleged vote buying. Speaking on Botswana’s democracy, Khama said “I would say it’s definitely in decline. If you’ve been following how our elections went, you would see that a number of petitions before the courts about allegations of rigging of the elections. Something certainly went wrong there that we’ve never, ever seen before.”