- Khama to continue with his favoured cooks
- Masisi feels the decision was too harsh on Khama
- Masisi advised the decision will earn Khama public sympathy
- Morupisi admits it was his sole decision to recall staff
President Mokgweetsi Masisi has withdrawn an earlier directive by Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi to withdraw six members of staff from former President Ian Khama’s official residence and office.
Last week Khama made it known through various private media that Morupisi had abruptly ordered a recall of six members of staff who had been deployed to work at his official residence and office. Morupisi had ordered the recall of public servants that included cooks, house helpers, gardener, driver and chief administration officer. Khama protested that he was only informed of the decision to withdraw staff a week before the date of the withdrawal which was going to be tomorrow (Wednesday October 31). He said the decision was a breach of the initial agreement he had with Masisi before he handed over the presidential baton to him.
According to sources at government enclave and the BDP, Masisi analysed the impact of the decision to withdraw workers from Khama after he arrived in the country from Switzerland and realized it was going to impact negatively on his already soured relationship with Khama. It is believed that Masisi’s advisors told him that the decision was likely to attract more public sympathy towards Khama while making Masisi appear like a vengeful leader, hell-bent on persecuting his predecessor.
Khama told the media that just before he stepped down as president, he had negotiated with his successor, Mokgweetsi Masisi and permanent secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi for the staff complement at his [Khama] office and residence and Masisi assured him he was at liberty to choose whoever he wanted to take along.
The withdrawal of the six members of staff was sanctioned by Morupisi through the permanent secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Thuso Ramodimoosi. During a press conference that he addressed immediately after jetting in from Geneva, Masisi distanced himself from Morupisi’s decision to deprive Khama of his long time workers. Even though the instruction was from Morupisi, Khama held a view that Morupisi had the backing of Masisi. A local newspaper quotes Khama as having said, “The way I worked before, PSP could not take a decision without the confidence that he has the backing of the President”.
Khama had already revealed to the media that he had instructed his lawyers, Collins Newman, to take legal action as he felt the decision to recall his staff was unreasonable and breached the agreement he had with Masisi and Morupisi before he stepped down in April.
Speaking in a brief interview with this publication on Monday evening, Morupisi confirmed the new development. ‘‘Yes it is true that His Excellency has reversed the decision I had made regarding government employees at the former president’s residence,’’ he said. Morupisi said the decision to recall the workers was made by himself after ascertaining that they had accomplished what they were deployed for at Khama’s office and residence. Asked what it meant for the president to reverse the decisions he made, Morupisi said there was nothing untoward in the exercise. He said they are very much on good terms with his boss and it is a normal occurrence for superiors to reverse the decisions made by subordinates.