‘Masisi skipped meeting Khama in Angola’

BACK IN DAY- Masisi and Khama in happier times
BACK IN DAY- Masisi and Khama in happier times

PRESS STATEMENT: We react to a Press Statement issued by the government of Botswana making reference to a “working visit” that His Excellency President Masisi is said to have undertaken to Angola at the invitation of His Excellency President Lourenco of Angola who is also the current Chairperson of SADC. It is mentioned in the said Press Statement that President Masisi went to Angola to “brief President Lourenco on the government of Botswana’s position…” on what is described as a “self-imposed exile…” by His Excellency General Khama and his family.

The position of the SKI Khama Foundation on this is that the government of Botswana has yet again chosen to withhold full disclosure and opted for half-truths about why there was an invitation in the first place and what happened in Angola.

We can confirm that indeed there was an invitation to both President Masisi and former President Khama from the Chairperson of SADC, except that the invitation was for the specific purpose of bringing Khama and Masisi together face to face for a possible resolution of their issues which requires the presence of both. That is why the two of them arrived in Luanda (Khama on December 27th) after accepting the invitation and giving their assurances that they were prepared to meet and talk as invited by President Lourenco.

Our information is that after arriving in Angola President Masisi became unavailable for the agreed meeting and instead opted for a private meeting with President Lourenco, and left immediately after that meeting. We have not been favoured with reasons for the sudden somersault on the part of President Masisi. We challenge government to take the nation into confidence and say why the President could not honour his own undertaking to participate, after travelling expensively at the taxpayer’s cost as he regularly does.

What cannot be denied is the fact that this is a characteristic conduct of President Masisi on several occasions whenever efforts are made both locally and from outside the country to bring about mediation on the Botswana issue. Eminent persons in Botswana and from outside the country, including former and current Heads of State and government, have made several attempts to reconcile President Masisi and former President Khama without success due to President Masisi’s unexplained unavailability.

For the record once more and contrary to routine government disinformation, the first effort by Botswana elders who included former President Mogae and others, failed not because Khama became uncooperative as government would have us believe, but because the Botswana Democratic Party elders did not hide their mission to speak for Masisi and ignore Khama’s complaints of curtailment and withdrawal of his retirement benefits without discussion or justification. It was during this time that the Office of the President made it impossible to have genuine and sincere discussion by harassing the former President including preventing him from doing philanthropic work.

It is public knowledge that President Masisi creates periodic false impressions that he desires reconciliation with General Khama, as he did in Shoshong and even in the build up to Angola recently, but never follows up or make himself available when invited.

The fact of the matter is that this issue with all its implications has reached both SADC and the United Nations with a consequent demand for answers from Botswana by the UN Special Rapporteur in March 2021. A dossier chronicling all this with empirical evidence was distributed for the attention of SADC Heads of State and Government during the month of June 2023.

*Kaboeamodimo is the CEO of the SKI Khama Foundation

Editor's Comment
Inspect the voters' roll!

The recent disclosure by the IEC that 2,513 registrations have been turned down due to various irregularities should prompt all Batswana to meticulously review the voters' rolls and address concerns about rejected registrations.The disparities flagged by the IEC are troubling and emphasise the significance of rigorous voter registration processes.Out of the rejected registrations, 29 individuals were disqualified due to non-existent Omang...

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