- Mogae torn apart, settles for Masisi
- Disunity characterises Seretse’s centenary celebrations
- Organising committee worried that Masisi should have at least told them his intentions
- Church bodies disappointed with turn of events, call for national prioritisation
The rift between the president Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor, Ian Khama has forced the duo’s eldest counterpart, former president Festus Mogae in a difficult position to choose between his successor and paramount Chief, Khama and his president, Masisi in honouring the country’s founding president, Seretse Khama’s centenary celebrations.
Masisi and Khama have organised separate celebration events to honour Seretse.
Centenary celebrations organising Committee spokesperson, Foster Lenyeletse Seretse told this publication that they had long invited Masisi and were shocked to see two days before the event that the presidency has actually been secretly organising something similar.
“We are shocked. The presidency should at least have had the courtesy to inform us. Maybe we would not have done this if we knew what they were planning. The president was invited but he has never responded to our invitation. We are totally clueless about the state organised celebration and we don’t have a choice but to continue with our plan on the 1st July to honour the founding president,” said Foster Seretse.
He further said they have invited Mogae but are not sure if he will be coming or not. Speaking to this publication, Mogae’s Senior Private Secretary, Rhee Hetanang said they have indeed received an invite from the centenary organising committee, adding that they have also received another from the presidency. “HE Mogae will be attending to the one organised by President Mokgweetsi Masisi,” Hetanang responded.
Mogae has been Ian Khama’s loudest critic, accusing him of not being like his father but has not kept the same policy towards Masisi.
Masisi will be hosting dignitaries and other guests at Parliamentary grounds on the 1st of July in what the presidency describes as observing the Centenary “at the national level”, while the Centenary organising committee headed by former Minister in the presidency Nonofo Molefi will be in Serowe on a separate Centenary celebration event-all about Seretse.
The separate events have been criticised by observers as unfortunate and demonstrable of the two leaders’ commitment to divide the nation.