Mmegi Blogs :: Ian Khama – Judge for yourself (Part 3)
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Last Updated
Monday 11 December 2017, 21:38 pm.
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Ian Khama – Judge for yourself (Part 3)

Dr Ian Khama is heir to the throne of the Bangwato tribe. Though his father Sir Seretse Khama had renounced bogosi (chieftainship) after his marriage to the English lady, Bangwato recognised him as heir to Ngwato throne.
By Michael Dingake Tue 06 Jun 2017, 17:30 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Ian Khama – Judge for yourself (Part 3)








In 1975 the young Brigadier and BDF Deputy Commander, was crowned as kgosi. His father, as President of independent Botswana pleaded with the tribe to loan their new kgosi to national service in the BDF, as the country faced mounting aggression from Ian Smith, the Rhodesian ‘Unilateral Independence’ Premier.

In terms of precedent, Ian Khama didn’t qualify to enter politics while kgosi. His father had denied Bathoen II of Bangwaketse the right to represent opposition BNF in Parliament unless and until he had  abdicated bogosi. Mogae and Khama deliberately connived  to flout precedence (the law). President Khama’s tendency to bend, manipulate and even break the law when it suits him can be attributed to that initial connivance. Botswana veered off course from trendy single-party democracy to multiparty democracy at Independence. She however took time to extend democracy to  trade unions. Trade unions were recognised more than 40 years post-Independence, shortly before Khama’s Presidency! Three years into Khama’s administration in 2011, BOFEPUSU, workers’ federation for public sector employees, flexed its muscles, taking to the streets demanding  15 % salary rise. Instead of Khama’s administration negotiating with BOFEPUSU, President Khama chose to take workers’ dispute to dikgotla, where he addressed traditional rustics saying there was no money; moreover he belonged to a different union-of-the-unemployed! To underline his objective, he instructed his Minister of Labour to amend the Public Service Act, such that the bulk of public services became ‘essential services,’ thereby virtually paralysing workers’ strike option in the public service! The Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC), created as a negotiation forum between Government and unions, was rendered dysfunctional by President Khama who has usurped PSBC functions to have salary adjustment determined by his high Office alone. For two consecutive years, three percent in 2015 and four percent in 2016, salary adjustments came from the OP! The President seems to be unconcerned with the anarchy he is creating; already frustrated, BOFEPUSU has withdrawn from the PSBC! Khama’s unemployment/poverty eradication programmes are entrenching a ‘dependency syndrome’ in the population. Chinese say, “Don’t give a man fish, teach him to catch fish!’ Contrary to this wisdom, Khama has, to all intents and purposes, converted his Executive Office, into a Charity Office. When he was new into politics, he did opine that ‘politics was a dirty game;’ he also made known his personal life preferences: the army, nature/wildlife and passion for acts of charity! Comment from some observers was that he inherited the latter from his mother, who ran a charity organisation.

Khama’s legacy will be perpetuated without any shadow of doubt by blanket donations, small livestock donations, housing appeal programme, not to forget his serving of food, at some of his gatherings.

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These activities could have been better left to village social workers since they have records of village indigents and time to dispense these duties and articles of charity more efficiently and timely. More importantly, instead of eradicating poverty, Khama was/is creating a debilitating dependency syndrome! The best way  to alleviate poverty is, creation of permanent employment opportunities, so that Batswana themselves can buy themselves blankets, raise livestock they want, build own houses and buy themselves food they prefer whenever hungry. Poor people, normally illiterate and uninformed of causes of poverty circumstances, soon believe alleviation of their poverty depends on the rich, the rulers, the kindhearted, to alleviate the misery of their circumstances. People don’t need charity, but permanent jobs through beneficiation of minerals, agro-processing, exploitation of the flora, fauna and scenic beauty of the land and thorough revision of our education curricula to synchronise skills with jobs. Botswana is rich in minerals, cattle, exotic and historical caves, Garden-of-Eden natural scenes, children with amazing IQs and talent… And Khama battles to imprison Batswana in the dark, ancient, dependency-syndrome caves? No, sir!

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) Act was tabled on a motion of urgency, debated and passed at dead of night; an attempt to sell the EVMs to the public has met with stiff resistance. In the process, nobody except the so-called coordinator of the IEC alone, owns it. Khama has been absolved by his BDP Secretary General from initiating/inventing the EVMs; flatteringly, BDP has still to discuss the EVMs strategy at its coming congress; the opposition which was defeated in Parliament when the law was passed, is up arms against the EVMs, to the extent of threatening a local, ‘No passaran!’

Whose baby is the EVMs then? Suspicion is that the Big Man is the one who might be interested in this  techno-rigging device. He is the most concerned about the BDP fate in 2019. Though likely retired after 2018, he remains the most desperate to sample BDP victory at 2019 general elections! If BDP loses, he fears he’ll be blamed….There are straws in the wind, that the BDP might bite the dust and it irks the big man.The resurgence of the opposition is there for all to see: opposition is relatively more united than the BDP; it won the previous general elections by popular vote of 53%; out of 13 bye-elections post-2014 general elections, BDP has won three only; since the BMD split, the BDP has never been so faction-ridden! Desperate Khama thinks BDP can still be flogged back to life, because if it dies shortly after his retirement, he might be scandalised by its demise. Too late the phalarope! Repeal the EVMs Act!

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