The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kgotla Autlwetse has said as long as former president Ian Khama’s uncles do not bring him to meet President Mokgweetsi Masisi, they will not meet the President either.
The uncles wrote a press release on Friday calling on Masisi to meet them and accussing Autlwetse of being “a conflicted emissary with a vested political interest in the stand-off between his boss Masisi and his Paramount Chief Khama". Speaking to this publication in a 30-minute call, Autlwetse said he is not moved by any accusations stating that he would continue serving impartially as a minister. “What they say about me and labelling me is personal opinion, which they are entitled to.
I am not conflicted and I am only doing my job as the minister responsible for Bogosi. All those who came to me, Kgosi Mokhutshwane Sekgoma was a permanent secretary, Mma Monyena and Iphemele Kgokgothwane were senior public servants and they know protocol. I told them and repeat that the only way for them to meet with the President over the issue will be if Khama is present,” he said. Autlwetse said he was shocked to learn of the press release while he had thought he had made it clear to the delegation he met that Masisi had said he would only meet them if they come with Khama. “I made it clear to them that the President is willing and ready to meet them and Khama.
It only makes sense that the two parties be there when the matter is deliberated. They are now making excuses and assumptions that he could be killed or arrested when he comes for the meeting. I can assure you that no one will be killed as both parties would bring their security. On whether he could be arrested, they should ask the judiciary that one.
And also, Khama is in a better position to know whether he could be arrested or not. If he did not commit any crime, then there is no need for him to worry about that,” he said. Autlwetse further said the President has made attempts to reach out before sending elders to Khama only for Khama to accuse them of bias. “David Magang, Dr Festus Mogae and Patrick Balopi all met with Khama who later accused them of bias. He then chose Satar Dada and Charles Tibone amongst others to mediate only for him to later discard them saying they were biased,” he said.
Autlwetse accused Bogosi of meddling in politics stating that it is the main reason there is a stand off in the matter. “If the matter was being resolved by just uncles as Dikgosi and not politicians, the matter could be resolved with ease. It is just a matter of reconciling and there is no need to cause alarm alleging that people would be killed or arrested. What they are doing is treating the Kgotla like a freedom square and politicking there is wrong,” he said.
Autlwetse said he continues to hear of attacks from both Bogosi and Serowe residents. He, however, said he was not moved and will continue carrying out his ministerial duties impartially.