- PSP says they are still looking for replacement
- Khama’s contact person unknown to the public, govt offices
- Khama said to have named Kgosi as Tlhalerwa’s replacement
- OP not interested and say Kgosi’s appointment will never happen
The stalemate between the former president Ian Khama and President Mokgweetsi Masisi has left the former president without a private Secretary, an anomaly which pundits say is unheard of and untidy.
The Private Secretary acts as a buffer between the President and the public, keeping the President’s schedules and appointments, managing his correspondence, managing the staff, communicating to the press as well as being a close aide and advisor to the President in a manner that often requires great skill and discretion.
As things stand, nobody knows how to contact Khama and government officers are often thrown from pillar to post on who to relate to and deal with following former Private Secretary, Brigadier George Tlhalerwa’s departure.
The Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi in an interview with this publication said the office of the president is still looking for a suitable person to replace Tlhalerwa.
“We are still considering our options. We will head-hunt someone for that post,” he said. He denied that it is worrisome for the former president to be working without a private Secretary.
Khama has displayed a particular obsession with soldiers and is alleged to want a long time soldier ally on his side, a decision that the presidency may not necessarily agree with.
Sources say Tlhalerwa who was supposed to serve three months notice requested to only serve a month’s notice for reasons unknown to this publication. The month’s notice request was confirmed by the PSP. A career civil servant who preferred anonymity said it defies government protocol and logic that the presidency could not find and negotiate a replacement during Tlhalerwa’s notice.
The delay however was reportedly a result of collision on who Tlhalerwa’s replacement should be after Khama forwarded his sidekick and long time ally Isaac Kgosi who is currently implicated in several high profile corruption cases. Kgosi was unceremoniously dismissed by Masisi in what was seen by many as a bold political survival decision.
Tlhalerwa’s post fell vacant in June following Tlhalerwa’s retirement after spending two months at the former presdient’s office. It appears Tlhalerwa has decided to go and rest after Khama shocked him and announced in a Kgotla meeting in Molepolole that he has decided to take him along to the former president’s office for his dedication and loyalty to him during his presidency.
At that time Tlhalerwa had already told this publication in an interview at the Office of the President that he is heading straight to retirement after Khama’s presidency. When confronted that he had promised to go into retirement he said the president had asked him to go with him to the former president’s office and help him set things up.
Last-month news broke that Khama actually wants his sidekick, and former Directorate of Intelligence and Services Isaac Kgosi as Tlhalerwa’s replacement. The presidency responded swiftly to the reports after seeing Khama and Kgosi at several forums together with the latter appearing to be handling the formers’s files.
In a strong response, the Office of the President said, “the Office of the President has taken note of various media reports and associated public speculation that the former Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security, Col. Isaac Kgosi, will be re-joining the Public Service in the Private Office of the Former President Lt. Gen. Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama. We therefore wish to once more reiterate that no such appointment has been made, nor it is contemplated.”
Kgosi was Khama’s Private Secretary before he was appointed to head the DIS in 2012.