- Major Gen Seikano loses out to his junior Mophuting in deputy commander post
- Masisi is appointing authority on advice from the Commander and others
- Unwanted Morake finally leaves, acting Air-arm commander heading out
The Deputy Commander of the Botswana Defence Force, Major General Gotsileene Morake, has finally taken a bow and left the military following several months of being looked at askance as a suspected element of forces against President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Morake’s decision to exit with a favourable military age on his side could not have been an easy one as he was the most likely to become the next Commander of the BDF.
He was one of the country’s senior army officers affected by the political change of power at the helm of government and joined scores of people suspected of being members of an Ian Khama clique of subversives.
Morake’s exit is expected to shake the BDF to core and open room for promotions, especially at the top where such staff movements are always an eventful development. The most senior major general has been the Commander of Ground Forces, Molefi Seikano, whom many had expected would replace Morake.
However, this is not a given because the BDF Act grants President Mokgweetsi Masisi exclusive powers to appoint “the command of the Defence Force which shall include an officer to be the Commander, the Deputy Commander, and Command Commanders”.
As it turns out, the President decided instead to appoint Major General Mophuting, who has been heading the army’s support services department, to replace Morake. Both Mophuting and Seikano are distinguished scholars in the area of security from international institutions and hold Master degrees.
According to highly placed military experts, it does not always follow in military promotions that the most senior will move to the next opening and reach ‘the promised land’ before associates and juniors. “There are several other considerations, many, as you can think, that determine progress,” said one expert. “At the end of the day, it is the President’s prerogative. Whether he seeks counsel from the Commander and the defence ministry is also his decision.”
The promotions now leave the BDF with four major generals, one of whom will unseat Brigadier Anthony Dikeledi who has been acting as the Air Arm commander following the retirement of Major General Innocent Phatshwane last year. The position is a major general post and Dikeledi, a brigadier, is highly likely to be deployed somewhere outside the principals’ acre.
Major General Hendrick Rakgantswane, who has been promoted alongside Joseph Seelo, is likely to take over the Air Arm department as he also comes from the same department.
Should everything remain the same, sources within the army’s top brass warn that Major General Mothuting is the next Commander of the BDF.