The Office of the President (OP) has denied former president Ian Khama yet another close ally to be his private secretary.
While Khama said he has not received any response on his request to employ Tsaone Nkarabang as his private secretary, Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi has told this publication that Khama cannot have Nkarabang.
The position of the former president’s private secretary became vacant mid-last year after George Tlhalerwa stepped down. After the retirement of Tlhalerwa, Khama requested that former director general of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Isaac Kgosi be his private secretary, but the government turned down his request without giving him reasons. Currently Kgosi is under investigation by the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) for various offences he allegedly committed while at the helm of DIS. Khama had initially wanted to take the matter to court.
He has since backtracked. The Monitor has learnt that Khama made his request around January this year and got a shock when Nkarabang was transferred to Sowa Town on February 4, where he is now Assistant District Commissioner in the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration.
“Before I made this request, I talked to Vice President Slumber Tsogwane and deputy Private Secretary to the President Elias Magosi. They seemed not to have a problem with the issue and told me that they would inform President Mokgweetsi Masisi since he was not in Botswana and asked me to make a formal request, which I did.
They could still have communicated to me about any development on the matter if they think he is not capable of (performing in) the job. I will discuss the matter with my attorneys,” Khama told The Monitor.
Nkarabang served as private secretary to Khama during the latter’s tenure. Nkarabang grabbed public attention in 2016 when a secret file revealed how he had been receiving special treatment at the expense of the taxpayer’s money.
Information from the file indicated that public funds were used to mollycoddle Nkarabang, who was considered one of Khama’s favourites including footing his medical bills following a quad bike accident. Contacted for comment, Morupisi simply said Khama could not have Nkarabang.
“Nkarabang has recently been transferred to Sowa Town. The former president made a request after the transfer had been made. We will therefore engage him to look for a different person,” he said.