- Did Khama fail Maele?
Sources within Prince Maele’s former ministry say the eyebrow raising P250 000 he gave former President Ian Khama was meant to curry favour for consideration during the Mokgweetsi Masisi transition.
The money apparently raised from Maele’s “friends” and from 16 villages in the Palapye and Maunatlala-Lerala was given to the former president during his farewell kgotla meeting in February. “Like anybody we have many friends and sympathisers who we often turn to in times of need or when there is a desire to achieve something,” he explained.
Highly placed sources within the Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services ministry say the cash present came when Maele sniffed that he was going to be axed in the new administration.
“He knew Khama had a hand in the cabinet restructuring. Why would a Minister give an outgoing president that amount? Ministers like everybody are in debt and that amount could have settled a lot of Maele’s debt or even be channelled to his struggling relatives. He miscalculated, he is the biggest loser now,” said a senior official in the ministry.
When he was minister, Maele projected criticism regarding the gift to Khama as a witch-hunt. “People know that Khama was pleased with my performance and I think that angered many people who then decided to go after me but I am not bothered,” he said.
While gift-giving occurs with the expectation for reciprocity, Khama did not immediately show any indication that he would give Maele anything in return.
The scandal-ridden ex minister together with Sadique Kebonang were chopped by Masisi. Kebonang is expected to face charges along with others regarding the alleged looting of the National Petroleum Fund (NPF). It is however unclear why Masisi removed Edwin Batshu from the Ministry of Nationality,Immigration and Gender Affairs.
Maele to face his troubles alone…
The former minister who has now been relegated to the backbench will now face the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) over a series of corruption charges which he has described as nothing but ‘political charges’. Maele has been a backbencher before until he was handed the corruption-prone ministry by Khama in 2014.
Attempts to get Maele’s comments were not successful as he was unreachable on his mobile phone. The Botswana Gazette will provide the ex-minister right of reply any time should he seek it.