- Former president says President Masisi has not off ered condolences
- Comment allegedly made that the wrong Khama has died
- “Masisi has no time to discuss Khama” – OP
The government will not have any role to play in the funeral of the eldest and only daughter of Botswana’s founding president, Seretse Khama, The Botswana Gazette has established. Jacqueline Khama died last week and will be buried in Serowe on Friday.
The cold atmosphere and apparent absence of affection is a reflection of the antipathy between the Khama family and President Mokgweetsi Masisi that began almost as soon as the latter assumed office when the former president seemingly had expectations that were not met.
Khama says President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s regime will not play any part at the funeral. “They have not asked and we have not offered,” he said in an interview with this publication, adding that he has not received any message of condolences from the President or anyone in high government office.
“I have not personally received any message of condolences from Masisi or anyone else of them,” he emphasised. “I was only told that in their circles a comment was made that the wrong Khama had died.”
The only message of condolences was issued by Vice President Slumber Tsogwane after the passing away of Jacqueline was announced last week. However, although it was purported to be on behalf of the government, it was addressed to Jacqueline’s son. “Mr Dale Ter Haar and Family,” it specified.
It was notable for excluding and bypassing Ian as the head of the Khama family and BaNgwato as Jacqueline’s tribes-people as would have been expected.
“My dear wife and I were deeply saddened by the news of the passing on of Jacqueline Tebogo Khama, the first born to the late Sir Seretse Khama, first President of the Republic of Botswana and Lady Ruth Khama,” Tsogwane wrote.
“I wish to convey, on behalf of the government and the people of Republic of Botswana and indeed on my own behalf, our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the Khama family. Ms Khama’s selfless service to the University of Botswana for nearly two decades, from December 1982 to June 2010, has in no small measure contributed immensely to the development of this country.”
Fear of State Ambush?
Khama proceeded to say: “The regime as we speak is deciding what to do if we do turn up. I can confirm they have decided something should be done to us but not yet determined exactly what, when and where. If and when we find out more, then that will indicate what we decide to do,” Khama said in an interview.
Both Ian and Tshekedi Khama have been assisting with funeral arrangements in absentia while Anthony has been the immediate contact person for all involved.
Efforts to contact the government spokesperson John Dipowe and the Minister of State Kabo Morwaeng were unsuccessful at the time of going to press.