FRANCISTOWN: President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama have to man up and engage in meaningful dialogue in order to resolve their differences.
This is according to Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU). The federation was openly reacting for the first time since its governing council in Palapye last month resolved that the federation should intervene in the Khama-Masisi feud.
At its governing council, the federation noted that the feud between the two has become a national matter (as there is now talk of tribalism) and warrants condemnation from all progressive forces in the country including BOFEPUSU.
“They (Khama and Masisi) should leave their selfish interests behind for the sake of national unity. They should man up and engage in meaningful dialogue. It is clear that their differences are personal. If at all they were institutional wars proper channels or structures would be used to resolve the issues,” BOFEPUSU spokesperson Mogomotsi Motshegwa said yesterday in an interview.
He added, “It is even unfair for the elders because they are now being used to fight wars they know little about, like we saw recently in Serowe.
What is more worrying is that political matters are now being fought along tribal lines”.
The federation spokesperson added that more concern is that very powerful and respected positions such as Bogosi are now being used to fight political battles.
“We now have a situation where there is a thin line between Bogosi and politics which is not what we are accustomed to
Khama has been accused of using his position as Bangwato Kgosi to fight his battles with Masisi and de-campaigning the ruling party.
He recently called a meeting in Serowe where he accused Masisi of ill-treating him and destroying the ruling party.
The former president announced his intentions to leave the BDP at the meeting and some people backed his position. He and some Bangwato also accused Masisi of tribalism.
Some critics accused Khama and some Bangwato who commented at the Serowe meeting of fuelling politics of tribalism. Since their feuding, Khama has constantly accused Masisi of tribalism suggesting that the President looks down upon Bangwato.
“Because there was a peaceful transfer of power between the two, our expectation as a smooth arrangement was that Khama will offer support and guidance to Masisi where necessary. We had also anticipated that Masisi would channel his energy to pursue his roadmap. They do not show respect to this nation (through their feuding),” concluded Motshegwa.
Analysts and Batswana have been critical of the fight between Masisi and his predecessor.
They believe that their conduct undermines the integrity of the presidency. There is talk that the fallout between Khama and Masisi in a result of the latter failing to entertain the desires of his predecessor.