- SADC chair to especial envoy delegation to Botswana
- Business leaders also eager to have the two men reconciled
- Angola delegation to meet Mogae, Kedikilwe and others
President Joao Lourenco of Angola is not giving up on reconciling President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor, Ian Khama.
The Botswana Gazette is informed that President Lourenco – who is the current Chairman of SADC and acting in that capacity – intends to dispatch a second delegation to consult with key figures, including former president Festus Mogae, former vice president Ponatshego Kedikilwe, former minister Charles Tibone, and BDP treasurer Satar Dada, in an effort to understand previous attempts at reconciliation failed.
Sources say President Lourenco’s Special Envoy, Ambassador Tete Antonion, was sent to President Masisi on 21 December but was unable to meet with all previous mediators and engaged only with former minister David Magang.
“The Special Envoy will be coming on a fact-gathering mission,” said one source. “He intends to hear from everyone who has tried to mediate in this issue and thereafter provide a comprehensive report to President Lourenco for a final determination on the matter.”
President Lourenco had separate meetings with President Masisi and former president Khama in December 2023 and heard their perspectives.
Decision by August
A final decision on the Khama-Masisi animus is to be made before President Lourenco hands over the SADC chairmanship to President Emerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwean in August this year.
This renewed attempt to reconcile the two men comes after former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo and other SADC leaders appealed to President Lourenco to intervene.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lemogang Kwape has told the local media that President Masisi has already given his side of the story to President Mnangagwa and had a similar discussion with President Hage Geingob of Namibia last year.
Business leaders eager
The Botswana Gazette is informed that local and international business leaders are also eager to have the two reconciled.
High-level talks have occurred between Khama, Masisi and various business leaders, some with and others without interests in Botswana.
Concerns have been raised about the negative impact of their antipathy on the country’s image and potential for dissuasion of investors.