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  • Khama’s new agenda to tarnish govt’s image worries Brand Botswana
  • Khama says investors are shunning badly-governed Botswana
  • Projects Botswana as a regressive state in disarray to the international community

TEFO PHEAGE

The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), an integrated Investment and Trade Promotion Authority (ITPA) with an encompassing mandate of investment promotion and attraction, export promotion, and development, including management of the Nation Brand, has expressed its serious concern over former president Ian Khama’s new found love at tarnishing the image of the country internationally.

A BITC department-Brand Botswana- tasked with positioning Botswana to international audiences as an attractive place to visit, work and invest has not taken kindly to the assault by the former president on their hard-earned gains, made in recent years.

Impeccable sources say authorities have noted with contempt a series of attacks on the nation’s brand particularly with the regional and international audience.

In his most recent and widely publicized interview with a South African media institution, Khama elected to depict Botswana as a nation in turmoil where people are living in fear. The gripe by BITC over Khama’s assertions is that they are not backed up by any tangible evidence or explanations.

“Their worry is that his attitude threatens to reverse all that the government has been doing; moving around to attract investors and you will recall that the country spends so much money to promote this small country,” a source at the BITC said. The biggest worry he said was that Khama has vowed never to rest until he achieves his mission.

The national brand highlighting our national assets, differentiate Botswana from its African neighbours; grow Botswana’s trade performance; stimulate international investment and enhancing tourism visitation and spend.

Contacted for comment, Brand Botswana International Portfolio Director Botswana, Gaorekwe Gaorekwe said they cannot make comments on the former president as such falls under the ambit of the office of the president.

“If at all there is an issue, the office of the president or Botswana Government Communications and Information System (BGCIS) shall act or advise accordingly,” responded Brand Botswana international portfolio director.

Brand Botswana has been engaged in numerous international marketing initiatives aimed at creating awareness of the country. The initiatives include publishing Botswana success stories on international media/publications and airing of Botswana promotional commercials on international travel and news channels i.e. BBC World, Sky News, Supersport, National Geographic among many others.

Khama has in his onslaught on his successor’s gone stooped below accepted diplomatic levels of engagement associated with people in his position as a former head of State.,“He has shown a willingness to divulge every little detail of his dispute with president Mokgweetsi Masisi at any given opportunity,” claimed the source

It is not yet known how the government plans to counter Khama’s onslaught internationally but locally Masisi and the permanent secretary to the president Carter Morupisi have been issuing out counter attacks as the best form of defense. Masisi however has been criticized for his comments and responses to Khama’s onslaught with many advising him to ignore his predecessor.

Masisi has told the nation that Khama is actually protesting his refusal to appoint his (Khama) younger brother,Tshekedi as the vice-president. Masisi is said to have agreed to do so as a condition to gain the presidency only to renege on the alleged agreement and appoint his preferred vice-president -Slumber Tsogwane.

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