Mmegi Online :: Of the Khamas, by the Khamas, for the Khamas
Last Updated
Tuesday 11 December 2018, 14:21 pm.
Of the Khamas, by the Khamas, for the Khamas

President Ian Khama celebrates his 56th birthday today on completion of seven months in the highest office. In his 10 years in politics he has served only at the highest levels of government - previously as vice president - and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party where he quickly rose to the position of chairman before becoming leader.
By Staff Writer Tue 11 Dec 2018, 16:47 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Of the Khamas, by the Khamas, for the Khamas

Tshekedi Khama - brother, MP for Serowe North West
Tshekedi Khama is the younger brother to Ian Khama. He took over the Serowe North-West from his brother Ian Khama when the latter became president. Botswana Democratic Party activist and current Gaborone Central candidate, Gomolemo Motswaledi who was tipped to stand in one of the BDP's safest seats in the bye-election pulled out under controversial circumstances, giving way for Tshekedi.  Tshekedi is believed to be poised for a cabinet post in the near future. Tshekedi is also a businessman, being in partnership with his twin brother Anthony. 

Tshekedi and his twin brother Anthony were embroiled in media scrutiny a few years ago during the tenure of their brother as commander. This was after allegations that a company they owned, Seleka Springs was being favoured over others supplying equipment to the Botswana Defense Force. Another allegation also pertained to a company called Lobatse Delta, which under the directorship of the Khama twins was reportedly engaged in supplying vehicles to the army.

At the time the BDF refuted the allegations.
"Another company linked to the Khama family was Hot Bread, from whom the BDF bought its bread for trainees and soldiers in Kasane," according to Professor Kenneth Good, quoted by The Economist. The UB academic was forcefully retired from the country a few years ago after having been declared a prohibited immigrant by then President, Festus Mogae.

Brigadier Ramadeluka Seretse - cousin, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security
Ramadeluka Seretse is the Minister of Defence and Security under which lie the Botswana Defence Force and the Botswana Police Service. He is a first cousin to Ian Khama, being the son of Naledi Khama, the sister to the former president and father to Ian Khama, Seretse Khama.

Also under his ministry rests the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS), Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Attorney General, and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC).

Dale Ter Haar - nephew, CEO of CIC Energy Corp in Botswana
Jacqueline's son, and Ian Khama's nephew, Dale Ter Haar heads one of the biggest mining projects in the country as General Manager of CIC Energy Corp. CIC Energy, in partnership with a local company, Moepong Resources, is in charge of the multi-billion Pula Mmamabula project. 

According to the company's website, Ter Haar, based in Gaborone, has been head of CIC Energy's Botswana office since it was established in 2006.

Ter Haar, like his uncle Ian, received military training at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy in the United Kingdom. He further served in the British military, rising up to the rank of major.

"In the rank of major and appointed as a squadron leader, he had full operational responsibility for over 80 soldiers, 14 main battle tanks and a total of £45 million worth of military assets," states the website.

Ter Haar is a graduate of the University of Cardiff where he obtained a Bachelor of Science with a major in Business Administration. He is believed to have grown too big for the job of BDF commander.

Johan Ter Haar - Brother in law. Khama's friend and former chairman of the Business and Economic Advisory Council
When the Botswana Economic Advisory Council was constituted, consultant Jon Ter Haar was roped in as chairperson. Ter Haar is Ian Khama's ex-brother in law having been married to Ian Khama's sister, Jacqueline. He is also the father to Khama's nephews, Dale and Markus.

Established in 2005, the Business and Economic Advisory Council, whose objective, was to find ways to drive the economy forward, advised on how to better address challenges such as lack of economic diversification.

The all-powerful BEAC was touted as the think-tank that would chart the next decades of Botswana's economic revival by attracting more foreign direct investment and streamlining the civil service.

Isaac Kgosi - confidante, head of Directorate on Intelligence and Security
Isaac Kgosi was the name most often associated with Khama's office during his years as Commander of Botswana Defence Force and later as Vice President. He was Khama's personal secretary during Khama's VP tenure. He has served Khama in different capacities over time, once as his personal bodyguard. He remains close to Khama both professionally and personally. He was appointed to head the Directorate of Intelligence and Security and is in the team that formulated the institution.

The DIS remains one of the most important institutions to Khama.
Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi - friend and Minister of Communication, Science and Technology
A very close and trusted friend of Ian Khama. She is in charge of the flow of information to the public through Botswana Television (Btv), Radio Botswana, RB2, Daily News and Kutlwano. Part of that mandate is set to grow with the Media Practitioners Act through which she wants control of the private media.

She will decide what is news that should be published or broadcast for public consumption.

Venson-Moitoi is considered Khama's friend. She and the President are known to be on first name basis. When many other colleagues in government are shut out, Venson-Moitoi always has access to Khama. To a very large extent it is believed that Khama can confide in her as much as she can have the same liberties with him. Outside her official mandate as a government minister, Venson-Moitoi is one of those that Khama is likely to


consult when he needs a steadying hand during critical moments
Ian Kirby - High Court judge, ex-Attorney General and confidante
There is a perception that Khama, like others in government hold High Court judge Ian Kirby in high esteem for his knowledge and thoroughness.

Khama has interacted and benefited much from Kirby's counsel during the judge's tenure as Attorney General and legal advisor to Seretse Khama and the Botswana Democratic Party. Word from the Government Enclave is that he is more than impressed with Kirby and this is a relationship that remains very important to Khama.

Both Kirby and Khama are on the board of trustees of Mokolodi Nature Reserve. The latter is a patron, while Kirby is deputy chairperson of the board.

In the 80s, Kirby was a senior partner in Kirby Helfer & Khama, alongside Doreen Khama. Doreen Khama a former Mmusi was married to Mphoeng Khama, the youngest son of Tshekedi Khama, Seretse Khama's uncle. Thus Mphoeng was Seretse's cousin, and Ian is Doreen's cousin-by-marriage's son.

David Newman - friend, High Court judge and advisor
Those around Khama place a high premium on former attorney and senior partner at Collins and Newman. As a lawyer, it is believed that Khama and his other close associates would generally bounce ideas off Newman whenever they were unsure.

It is believed Khama still relies a lot on Newman's input on many of his thoughts.
He has been an attorney with Collins Newman the firm that currently represents Louis Nchindo in his ongoing legal case involving abuse of office whilst he was a Debswana executive. He was, at the height of his reign at the firm, a lawyer for many prominent politicians and large property owners.

Gloria Kgosi - Botswana Television, BTV presidential reporter.
Gloria Kgosi, close relative of the Director of Intelligence and Security, Isaac Kgosi has been working on and off in the media industry and most recently in RB2. She recently transferred to the Botswana Television where she is a newsreader and reporter, also hosting the Sedibeng Lifestyle TV show.

However, her major duty is covering President Khama. She was recently granted a rare interview with Khama who is known to shun the media. Khama has never addressed a press conference since he assumed power in 2008.

Sheila Khama - head of De Beers Botswana, cousin-through-marriage
Sheila Khama, formerly Letshwiti, is Sekgoma Khama's ex-wife, a cousin to Ian Khama via his relationship with Tshekedi Khama. After divorcing, she kept the Khama surname.

As head of De Beers, the company in a partnership with the Botswana government at Debswana, Khama is a board member of the national mining conglomerate.

She serves as a non-executive director to a number of group companies including De Beers Botswana, Debswana Diamond Company, De Beers Prospecting Botswana, Botswana Diamond Valuing Company, Botswana Ash and Gope Exploration Company, to name a few.

Sekgoma Khama, a trusted advisor to the Botswana Democratic Party, generally known as a business person, has also served as ambassador to Sweden.

Tsetsele Fantan - relative, member of the Tribunal on the Directorate of Intelligence and Security.

The Tribunal on the Directorate of Intelligence and Security is the appeal body to which all complaints against the Directorate of Intelligence and Security are lodged. It was appointed by Ian Khama himself.

Fantan is a daughter of Peto Sekgoma and sister to former minister David Magang's wife. Peto was Mokhutshwane's son. Mokhutshwane is Khama III's brother. That way, Peto Sekgoma was a cousin to Sekgoma II, Seretse Khama's father. Tsetsele is Peto's daughter while Ian Khama is Sekgoma II's grandson. In that way Tsetsele and Ian Khama are cousins.

Fantan sits on the tribunal to which people lodge any complaint they have against the Directorate on Intelligence and Security. Observers say for Khama to appoint Fantan to this team shows how much he values his relations with Fantan.

She is a former executive director of African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership. She has worked for Debswana as a director of HIV/AIDS Management, and previously at Jwaneng as personnel manager.

The Mokaila brothers - childhood friends and army colleagues
The Khamas and the Mokailas come a long way. Khama respects familial relations and he usually only entrusts issues closer to him with people he considers beyond professional relations.

Kitso Mokaila's father, Dingaan Mokaila served as the first private secretary to Seretse. in the 1970s. He held the job until 1974.

Kitso Mokaila, friend, Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism
Captain Kitso Mokaila is a friend and Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism and a very close family friend and loyal to Khama from their days at BDF. Mokaila, a man who is seen as part of the central core of Khama's team, has even been tipped to become vice president in the future. Like Khama, Mokaila likes military men and he has recruited a man from the army as personal secretary. Tefo Mokaila, personal secretary State House, is Kitso's elder brother

Thapelo Olopeng - retired soldier, businessman
Not much is known about Olopeng except that he has maintained a friendship with Khama even after he left the army. Olopeng is currently a businessman.

Moakohi Modisenyane - retired soldier Director of the government's Central Transport Organisation
As the man at the head of the CTO Modisenyane controls the whole government fleet of vehicles.

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