I was ready to walk away from De Beers – Masisi


Reflecting on his gambit that rattled a diamond giant, President Mokgweetsi Masisi this week while addressing Botswana envoys, lit a torch for all to see the plight Batswana endured at the hand of a secretive deal between Botswana and De Beers, expressing great descent on what he calls “a deal fraudulent and fraught with error”. Albeit praise for Botswana far and near as a diamond success story, Masisi thinks the country was duped, conned and tricked, Mmegi Staffer TIMOTHY LEWANIKA writes.

Botswana’s diamonds are not just shiny stones concealed by the Sahara sands that drape the turf of the nation’s territory, they are the roads coiled all over the nation, the buildings that house the country’s industrialisation efforts, diamonds built and made the nation. It is a bare truth, but President Masisi was ready and willing to walk away from the relationship that ensured this development, ready to send packing the biggest commercial partner the country has proving to be gatvol of a deal that he claims robbed Botswana for decades upon decades.

“I told the CEO of Anglo and De Beers that if they come back thinking we will sign the same deal, they better get out of my Cabinet room and the deal is off,” he said. These spine-chilling words to the average Motswana who has for many years been in the dark over the details of the agreement that keeps the whole economy running. But for Masisi there is nothing spine-chilling about letting Batswana know the dark side of the deal that sustains their economy. In 2020 at the height of COVID-19, the President watched together with his administration, as the pandemic set ablaze the manifesto and promises he had campaigned with and won, replacing that hope for Batswana with the second worst economic collapse in the country’s history, the depletion of critical government savings and an embittered population. The kitty was empty with no hope of being replenished soon and the government had to find more ways to generate more cash for the future.

Editor's Comment
Your vote matters

This period, running from May 20 to 31 2024, is crucial for those who have not yet registered to vote. This announcement comes in response to a significant shortfall in registered voters following the recent registration period. As it stands, only 62% of the target number of voters registered, leaving a considerable gap.With Botswana's general elections scheduled for October, every eligible citizen needs to register and exercise their...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up