FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Federation of Public Parastatal and Private Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has vowed to leave no stone unturned in its bid to ensure that the sanctity of the Office of the President (OP) is protected.
The federation recently released a statement stating that the feud between the former president Ian Khama and current President Mokgweetsi Masisi, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms, as it compromises the sanctity of the presidency of the country and has the potential to divide its people on regional and tribal lines.
“The feud between Masisi and Khama was discussed at length at our governing council recently in Palapye. There were those who felt that it is purely a BDP factional matter while others felt that it has snowballed into a national matter since there is now talk of tribalism or regionalism, if one may put it that way.
In the end the general feeling was that the feud has escalated into a national matter (as there is now talk of tribalism) and it warrants condemnation from all progressive forces including BOFEPUSU,” BOFEPUSU secretary general Tobokani Rari said yesterday.
Rari added, “The first step will be releasing a detailed statement condemning what is currently happening.
If we see no progress, the BOFEPUSU executive will meet and take appropriate measures to ensure that the sanctity of the OP is restored”. The federation also said that Masisi is partially responsible for degenerating the sanctity of the OP. “Masisi has played a role in soiling the presidency.
By just talking about the North-South divide he is staining the OP. We cannot allow the OP to degenerate into that and we will ensure that the sanctity of the OP is restored before things get out of hand,” he said. In Serowe recently, Khama accused Masisi of tribalism. According to him, Masisi reportedly told a party gathering in Tlokweng that there are some tribes that think they are superior to others. According to a previous story by Mmegi Khama told the BDP Serowe meeting, “he was referring to Bangwato as the purported superior tribe”. Khama, through his reported utterances, said Masisi was fuelling tribalism. Rari further highlighted yesterday, “We should not be seen to be protecting Masisi. We are protecting the OP. We need to emphasise this”.
For nearly a year tension between Khama and Masisi has dominated local and international news. It has been widely condemned by various stakeholders including the opposition parties who warned that the ongoing feud, if not urgently dealt with, could escalate into civil war that will reverse the economic gains made by the country.
It is unclear why Khama and Masisi have been fighting. Allegations are that Masisi has not entertained some of Khama’s post presidency desires, which is why they have been feuding in public. Even the ruling party elders have failed in their attempts to broker peace between Khama and Masisi.