Khama snubs OP in USA trip
- Khama did not inform OP of his international trip
- PSP says they are not aware that Khama is outside the country
Former president Ian Khama has failed to inform the Office of President of his trip to the United States of America, a move which scholars of international relations say is shocking and undignified.
Despite Khama claiming in a Facebook post that he will be performing roles on behalf of Botswana, the Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi told this publication in an interview that they had not appointed him to play any role nor received any notice from Khama in relation to the said trip contrary to established protocol. “We know nothing about the trip, he has not informed us,” he said. Morupisi said normally former presidents inform the highest office of the land which oversees the arrangements of all former head of states’ international trips.
On the July 20th, 2018 Khama posted on his official Facebook page that his page will be quiet for some time as he is going on an international trip to perform some tasks for Botswana on behalf of Conservation International. “This page will be quiet for a few days as I am travelling to the USA, the purpose being to finalise the expanded role I have been asked to perform for Botswana and elsewhere on the African continent on behalf of Conservation International,” reads the post by Khama.
It is not clear when Khama will return and efforts to establish his travel itinerary proved futile as his Private Secretary remains unknown following the retirement of long-serving Brigadier George Tlhalerwa and the refusal by government to appoint former spy master Isaac Kgosi as Khama’s private secretary.
Under normal circumstances, the former president informs the highest office of his international trips for the facilitation of his travel, security and diplomatic protocol due to his status. It is not known who left with Khama from his office and who paid for their expenses. Insiders within the office of the president indicated that it is assumed that Conservation International (C I) did not include his entourage in their expenses as that would place them in legal jeopardy in Botswana.
When asked about the normal procedure, Rhee Hetanang, the private Secretary to former president Festus Mogae said “we inform the office of the president of all His Excellency Festus Mogae’s international trips.”
It is not surprising that Khama did not inform the Office of the President, reveals the source, owing to the yawning rift between him and his former deputy and now president Mokgweetsi Masisi who has refused to hire his (Khama) preferred private Secretary and former spy unit boss, Isaac Kgosi who is implicated in high profile corruption cases.
The source revealed that the trip is not only about Khama and C I but that it is equally about government of Botswana policies. In 2012, the Government of Botswana took the initiative to bring together leaders from all sectors of society to draft and endorse the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa (GDSA) as a commitment to better understand the value and manage Africa’s natural wealth.
The commitment by government for successful implementation of the GDSA is also reflected in the State of the Nation Address of the same year, where Khama, indicated that the Government was fully committed to ensuring that the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa bears fruit.
Khama, who joined the C I Board of Directors in 1999, co-hosted the inaugural summit for sustainability in Africa in 2012. The inaugural summit comprised of Heads of State from ten African nations and development partners and was aimed at charting a course toward healthy sustainable economies. The meeting resulted in the formulation of the Gaborone Declaration, and garnered further international support for Botswana from the Rio, Brazil based organisation. In 2012 Khama was awarded a prestigious award for his “life-long commitment to the environment.”
Khama’s detractors however caution that Khama is driven not so much by conservation policy but rather by the ability to exploit such policies into money-making ventures that are underscored by his associations with organizations like Conservation International, Great Plains Conservation and Wilderness Safaris.