‘Go home’, Masisi tells unelected presidents

Masisi PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Masisi PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

President Mokgweetsi Masisi says unelected presidents are out of a job therefore they must ‘go home’. Giving a public lecture at Virginia Polytechnic in the United States this week, Masisi said presidents come into the top job as elected officials therefore it means they can be unelected at some point

With African leaders known for their reluctance to leave office, Masisi added that he never understood why anybody wants to be president for so long. “Speaking from the privilege of being a president this thing alters your life completely and if you long to get your life back you would want to do your bit and get out of that. I need to get into the minds of these other colleagues of mine who do crazy things. I haven’t met the crazy ones yet. Perhaps I have met the ones who would be crazy and I haven’t discovered that they are going to be crazy yet,” he pointed out. Masisi said it really disturbs him that some countries have attempted to put in place incentives meant to convince presidents to leave office. “I find that unacceptable. You have a pension scheme by which you can get comfort beyond your service and it really ought to be enough,” Masisi further said. He emphasised that part of the reason why they have these conflicts in Africa is because of a lack of respect to the constitutions which made it possible for presidents to go into power. “We need to find more partners to help us make these values more of equity in Africa. It is not in Africa alone but we have realised that some of those that we look up to seem to face similar challenges. When we cast the net and look at everything we must be deeply and unapologetically objective. A backslide in democratic dispensation is backslide and it doesn’t matter where it is dispensed and it is concerning.”

Masisi told the gathering during the lecture that Botswana remains deeply concerned about the backsliding of democratic practice in Africa no wonder they we partnered with institutions like National Democratic Institute to grow a coalition of likeminded leaders across Africa to deliberately interrogate this democratic backsliding in the continent. He said in interrogating it, they will promote the values that they think work best for people. “In Botswana we remain steadfast and we are deeply committed to term limits, constitutional and democratic practice. That is what we preach as what works,” he further stated. The lecture was held under the theme: “Merging conservation, democracy, and sustainable development in Botswana”.

Editor's Comment
Women in Politics caucus NGO, a welcome development

In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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