Former President Ian Khama travelled to Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi’s constituency where he told the residents that their parliamentary representative lacks botho. Khama expressed his opinion of Kgathi when he officiated at the launch of the Francisco Malesela Kgoboko (FMK) Trust in Mabolwe village on Monday.
‘‘What kind of Member of Parliament is this?’’ Khama asked after revealing how Kgathi had tried to convince him to turn down Kgoboko’s request to officiate at the event. According to Khama, Kgathi approached him and asked if it was true that he would be officiating at the event, which marked the launch of the Trust run by his (Kgathi) Bulela Ditswe opponent, Francisco Kgoboko, to which Khama responded in the affirmative. ‘‘Do you have a problem with that?’’, Khama said he asked Kgathi who expressed his displeasure as he feared Khama’s attendance at the event was an indirect endorsement and campaign for Kgoboko. The former president said he made it clear to Kgathi that he was at liberty to grace any event as he is not bound by any party regulations because he was no longer a member of any committee in the party. ‘‘I almost fell off my chair when he asked me to cancel my engagement here,’’ Khama told the multitudes who had gathered for the launch.
It was clear from the onset that Khama came ready to shoot down Kgathi as he started his speech by expressing his disappointment at Kgathi’s absence at the launch. ‘‘I had thought I will be able to greet your MP Shaw Kgathi but I don’t see him and I don’t know why he is not here. Ka tshwanelo ha o le mopalamente o tshwanetse go tsena ditiro tse (Under normal circumstances an MP has to attend this kind of events)’’, Khama said. He went on to explain that on Saturday he received a call informing him that Kgathi was trying to persuade people not to attend the event and even attempted to block Dikgosi in the Bobirwa region from gracing the occasion. ‘‘Golo mo ke lenyatso, kana ke kgosi kgosi (This is disrespectful to me as a paramount chief), the former president lashed out.
‘‘Nna ke lekile go ruta batho ka botho. Ha o le mopalamente o thophilwe ke batho.Ba bangwe ba tsaya gore ba thophilwe ke Modimo (I have tried to instil the virtues of botho on people. As an MP, you are in that position because of people who voted for you. Some tend to think they have been appointed by God and the constituency is their private property)’’, Khama jabbed at Kgathi, much to the amusement of the audience.
Khama told the area councillor to go and tell Kgathi that contrary to what he had hoped for, multitudes of people attended the event, including the Dikgosi from Bobirwa. Khama was in his element as he led the audience in singing a birthday song for Kgoboko, whose birthday coincided with the launch of his Trust.
Once Khama’s trusted lieutenant, Kgathi has recently fallen into his former boss’ bad books. During his time as president, Khama trusted Kgathi to the extent of appointing him to one of the powerful ministries in Government; defence, justice and security. While Kgathi did not want to comment on Khama’s utterances, he asked a rhetorical question that he immediately proceeded to answer, ‘‘Where is his principle and respect for the BDP constitution? It has faded away I suppose’’, Kgathi said when this reporter asked for his comment on Monday.
The fallout between the Khama brothers and Kgathi emanates from the decision by Masisi’s administration to withdraw weapons of war from Tshekedi Khama’s Ministry over fears that they might be misused or abused.
The Khamas believe Kgathi was behind the move and is the one who motivated it. Tshekedi confirmed to this publication last month that he was informed by Kgathi that the president wants to see him. ‘’I was informed by Kgathi that the president wants to see me. Upon arrival I was told that the government has decided to withdraw the weapons of war from my ministry because it is not provided for by the law. I immediately accepted the outcome. Kgathi was present in that meeting,’ Tsekedi revealed.
The Khamas also believe that Kgathi was behind the decision by the army to ban Khama from flying BDF aircrafts. Meanwhile President Masisi yesterday morning posted a video on his social media page about entitlements and positions of leadership, in what was interpreted by many as taking a swipe at his predecessor Ian Khama. The video suggests that in life we get some privileges by virtue of our positions and that teaches that we must accept the reality of a normal life when we vacate our powerful positions or offices.