Inside Khama’s Mosu compound

Khama land: Google Earth image of President Ian Khama's Mosu compound as shot on August 2, 2012
Khama land: Google Earth image of President Ian Khama's Mosu compound as shot on August 2, 2012

No one dares to set foot in President Ian Khama’s much talked about Mosu compound. In fact, the mere mention of the President’s secretive compound sends chills down spines of Mosu residents.

On Thursday morning last week the Mmegi team, however, risked all to get unlimited access into the compound.

The Mmegi team entered the yard at around 9:20 am.  The main gate was wide open and there were no security guards in the vicinity.  After gaining entrance a man who identified himself as Tshimologo emerged from the makeshift barracks to enquire about the team’s presence in the yard.

When he realised that the trip was not sanctioned he scolded and ordered the Mmegi team to leave immediately.

He refused to entertain any probing questions saying, “No one is allowed in here under no circumstances.  We have strict orders [from the top] to never let anyone come this side”.

Mmegi, however, stayed long enough to get a glimpse of the yard.  Six Botswana Defence Force (BDF) trucks used for the construction of the controversial airstrip a few metres outside the yard were stationed inside the compound.

From the main gate on the left there are two servants’ quarters for the caretaker who allegedly stays in the compound.

Adjacent to the servants’ quarters is a 20-metre long shelter for quad bikes.

This is where Khama parks his expensive quad bikes when he is in Mosu. 

But Mmegi has since learnt the bikes are only transported by government vehicles whenever the President is in the village.

There is a big conference room that could accommodate over 15 people. This meeting room is located next to what appears to be a public kitchen. In front of the kitchen there is a Kgotla with a fireplace.

This is where the President sits around the campfire with his family, guests and friends, sources have said. 

Behind the Kgotla is Khama’s house.

It is a medium-size house with a green rooftop and like all houses in the yard, painted in beige. It has a raised concrete viewing platform where the President would have a panoramic view of the Pans.

On the right is Thapelo Olopeng’s house and it has similar features as the President’s.  It also has a viewing platform.

In addition to the two houses there is a relatively bigger house that was referred to as ‘Margaret Khama’s house’ by a controversial Zambian constructor only known as ‘Mr Jere’.

Jere is said to have built the houses in Khama’s compound.  He was identified as the ‘CEO of Traskon Holdings’ by the Office of the President when he was paraded on Btv and his video interview is posted on You Tube in an attempt to spin the media exposé.  Jere is the same constructor who built DIS Director Isaac Kgosi’s house in Phakalane. There are four more chalets in the compound, two of which belong to the President’s brothers and their families.

Behind the chalets inside the compound there is a helipad for Khama’s helicopter.

On the right next to the gate are makeshift army barracks.  This is where Khama’s security and BDF constructors building the airstrip have set up camp. Notably there were about five army construction trucks parked next to the barracks.

Water Utilities Corporation has since connected water to the compound after failed attempts to dig a private borehole for the President.


Proposed developments

Sources have revealed to Mmegi that the rest of the compound will soon be turned into a game park.  Other sources allege that the residential place would be extended after Khama’s retirement in 2018.  It is alleged that he wants to turn the compound into a retirement villa.  Ironically, the Mosu plot was allocated in 2001 to set up a commercial lodge.  It is not clear whether the lodge will eventually be set up, but at the moment it is a residential place.

Mmegi drove around the yard and can reveal that there is no notable construction happening inside the compound as one weekend newspaper reported two months ago.  The only major construction work is the controversial airstrip that is being built at least 100m outside the yard.

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