• Says several past attempts were unsuccessful
  • Strikes a conciliatory tone on his Facebook page


Former president Ian Khama has expressed shock at President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s call for reconciliation between the two men.

This came after the President remarked at a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) event over the weekend that his wish was for he and Khama to meet and bury the hatchet one day.
“Ke rapela Modimo gore nako ngwe re tla’ kopana maitshwarelo (I pray to God for us to meet at some point in time to ask for each other’s forgiveness),” Masisi told a BDP rally in Shoshong over the weekend.


Heads of state
Speaking from his self-exile in South Africa, Khama expressed shock at President Masisi’s remarks. Responding to Gazette enquiries, Khama said several attempts at reconciliation never succeeded.

“This included heads of state and former heads of state,” he said. “They never succeeded. Neither did those from within Botswana. So I am a bit surprised by what he said recently. when there have been those efforts before.”

However, he struck a more conciliatory tone in his Facebook, saying he would despatch his brother, Tshekedi, to start the process on his behalf.


Tshekedi delegated
“Let me publicly respond by saying that I have asked my brother, Honourable Tshekedi Khama, to return to Botswana and meet with Masisi or whoever the President may appoint in order to commence the process of reconciliation,” the former president wrote.
Mediation attempts between the two men have indeed failed. One was by Khama’s first cousin, the late former minister Ramadeluka Seretse, who said he had met with both men on different occasions and asked them to reconcile, but his efforts failed.

Prior to Khama leaving the BDP in 2019, the party’s Council of Elders met and tried to reconcile the two but also failed. The elders included Patrick Balopi, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, David Magang and the late Ray Molomo.

Similar attempts that involved BaNgwato royal uncles led by Kgosi Mokhutshwane Sekgoma also failed. In a press statement that followed their effort, the royal uncles said President Masisi had shown them disrespect, was ambiguous and ignored them.


Kgotla Autlwetse
However, then local government minister Kgotla Autlwetse disclosed that the process had petered out after the BaNgwato royal uncles were unhappy that he should be the one to meet with and questioned his suitability for the purpose.

The dispute between the two men started in 2018 after Masisi assumed office as president. Khama eventually quit the ruling BDP and ultimately formed his own party, the Botswana Patriotic Front.

After a case of illegal possession of arms of war was registered against him, Khama fled to South Africa alleging harassment by law enforcement agencies and that his life was in danger.