Gov’t untruthful about Khama’s letter

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign affairs, Justice and Security Kapinga receiving a correspondence from Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign affairs, Justice and Security Kapinga receiving a correspondence from Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo

After the government publicly denied that former President Ian Khama had not sent them any letter requesting an independent investigation, it turns out that the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign affairs, Justice and Security Kenny Kapinga did receive the correspondence.

Kapinga went further to respond to Khama’s plea in a letter dated February 11, 2022. On Monday the National Assembly released a rebuttal statement, which refuted some contents published on Mmegi’s last edition in which Khama revealed how he had approached a Parliamentary committee in Botswana to establish whether he has stolen weapons of war and also investigate attempts of poisoning him on three occasions. “The Parliament of Botswana would like to categorically state that it is not aware of any approach done by the former president to any of its Parliamentary Committee and does not have any record of communication to that effect”. Though one would wonder how communication works at a high institution like the National Assembly, Kapinga’s letter shows that Khama long sent his request for an independent investigation on January 31, 2022.

That was before Khama was even slapped with 14 counts relating to firearms. “I must state from the outset that I find it shameful, that in this country which I served for decades as a law enforcement officer, a former President can be hounded out of the country by an institution that is supposed to protect him. I never thought such a thing could happen in my lifetime.

As you may be aware, it is my unequivocal legal position that criminal investigations should be conducted by the Botswana Police and not the Directorate of Intelligence and Security. I say this out of my personal knowledge and experience that the Botswana Police is well endowed with skilled and experienced investigators who can be trusted to investigate any alleged violation of common law crimes,” stated Kapinga in the letter. The Okavango legislator further indicated that he was aware of the other spurious accusations levelled against Khama simply because the latter had parted ways with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.

He said the ruling party is unable to accept the choice Khama made and has therefore made a resolution to throw all sorts of unfounded accusations against him including being a threat to national security. “I have taken note of the decision you have made to call for external independent investigators to investigate all accusations against you and the complaints you have made against the government, including alleged assassination attempts/conspiracies. I am of the view that you were well justified in taking that avenue. If my government were amenable to advice, which I have come to realise that it is something that they loathe and undermine, especially when it comes from the opposition, I would advise them to issue unequivocal instructions to the DIS to withdraw from leading the investigations against yourself and to surrender such to the Botswana Police.

I would also advise the government to remind its law enforcement agencies that they should not investigate through the police or prison cell,” he highlighted. Kapinga advised Khama to continue seeking the intervention of the international community as he had done already. “I am grateful that at no point in your letter do you call for or demand that any investigations against you be stopped.

All you are saying is that you would like to be dealt with fairly and in accordance with the law and in a manner that does not abrogate your fundamental constitutional rights. It is my hope that the members of the diplomatic community to whom you copied your letter have taken note of your letter and have drawn your predicament to the attention of their capitals.

This letter will also be copied to the diplomatic community with the plea that they should help us bring this unfortunate situation to an end,” Kapinga concluded. The letter was also copied to the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Botswana Heads of Missions, United Nations Development Programme, European Union and Southern African Development Community.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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