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Letter to Sir Seretse Khama

THALEFANG CHARLES
The former president's legacy endures
Dumela Phuti. Boipuso is here again and I thought I should write to you again and let you know how we are doing so far.

For the first time since independence, we will be ‘eating Boipuso’ without your Vice President, Quett Ketumile Joni Masire.  Our second and longest serving President, Sir Ketumile Masire (was knighted by the British 26 years ago) left us few a months ago.

It was a sad day when Masire departed. The nation was united in grief.  We buried him on a Thursday and Batswana were not happy with the date of the funeral because they wanted to extend a similar tribute as they did during your passing.

 When we asked what the hurry was about to bury a man who dedicated his entire life to us, none was committal. Some people got angry because there were stories that your son would be engaged ‘ko metlhabeng’ on the initially suggested weekend of the funeral.

But there was nothing we could do because the family in mourning, well the representatives of the family, said they were content with the unusual midweek burial.  So those that were available bid farewell to one of the great sons of the soil, the man that selflessly built this country with along side you, on a cold Thursday at Goo Motebejana in Kanye.  Southern African state leaders and other former leaders attended the funeral.

We are still brainstorming on which iconic landmark to name after Rre Masire.  Ian has started with naming the University of Botswana Medical Hospital after him, but people are saying the medical hospital is not iconic enough for Rre Masire’s stature.  My suggestion is that the A1 Road should be named Sir Ketumile Masire Highway (well I already call it that) because of the iconic status of this road.

At Serowe, Ian’s regent Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane has been unwell.  He was hospitalised at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone recently, but Kgosi Mokhutshwane Sekgoma says the old man is recovering well.

It is not all bad news Sir.  Even though we are still relying mostly on minerals, the economy looks brighter in the short term as the recovery from the global recession continues.

The big news is that Ian is leaving in six months.  Although he has been assuring everyone that he will definitely retire at the end of his term on March 31, 2018 he has not yet started bidding the nation farewell. This has led to many people being unsure whether he will indeed give up the seat.  But I trust Ian.  I have no doubt that he will definitely vacate it.

However, I have a small concern Sir. A few months ago your son travelled to Sweden where he was on a mission to buy the Gripen fighter jets. It was rather confusing as to why he would find it fit to purchase such expensive arms of war when he only had a few  months to leave office.  The Swedish media tried to question him on his arms buying spree, but I

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have never seen Ian so vocal and defensive about something.  I think he really wants those Gripens.  Your son will always love big toys.

Anyway, his younger brother Tshekedi is doing a great job looking after our elephants. He and I are also trying to get Batswana to appreciate the beauty of our tourism products and assets, simple things like watching the sunset or photographing hyenas.

On Ian’s way out, it is widely expected he will hand over power to Edson Masisi’s son, the current Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Although Ian has not started to bid the nation farewell we are all hopeful that the African ailment called Third Term will not suddenly infect him.  I will write to you the day he leaves the office. 

We are all left to guess as to what he will retire into.  He is still relatively young and could still be useful to this country.  There were news reports that he might be going back to the army, but he laughed those rumours off. So we will find out next year April.

Nonetheless, Masisi’s son is ready to be president.  He even looks presidential, well some days when he is on a political campaign trail he looks like a black American pimp straight out of New York City with his colourful flat caps embroidered “Go Masisi” and sometimes with faux gold pins.

He was at the United Nations Global Pact Summit recently representing Ian and delivered Botswana’s position on climate change.  His beautiful wife, Mrs Neo Masisi has returned from Ethiopia to prepare to fill in her position of First Lady that has been vacant for 10 long years.

Just a few months ago, Masisi was expected to face the toughest general election in 2019 against the united opposition parties, but things look like it will be easy street for the man.  The opposition parties, once again, have rocked their own boat.

One of the parties under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) called the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) met in Bobonong recently and members violently pelted each other with stones.  I was there Sir and it was shameful seeing one party member in such a violent attack against one of their own.  People got injured and one lost an eye in the bloody battle.

The BMD fracas has led to the formation of a breakaway party led by Baledzi Gaolathe’s son, a humble softspoken young man called Ndaba.  The party is Alliance for Progressives (AP).  The political commentators are saying it is the grand daughter of Domkrag because BMD was a breakaway of the disgruntled Madomi led by that late lad, Gomolemo Motswaledi from Mmanthoko in Serowe, who was fired from Domi by Ian.  Anyway we wait to see how BDP’s granddaughter will turnout to be, but I doubt she could singlehandedly pose any major threat to her grandmother.

A kalo!.



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