- Khama’s conduct is our own creation
- The presidency is not a monopoly to any one person, family or tribe
- The party and nation must rise against individual selfish interests
- We must back Masisi and his reforms as we have done with all others
Ponatshego Honorius Kedikilwe (PHK) who was former president Ian Khama’s vice from 2012 to 2014 has spoken strongly against his former boss’s conduct and its aftermath, saying had Khama’s predecessor, former president Festus Mogae and others listened to advice and warnings, the party and nation would not be in its current embarrassing position.
Kedikilwe made the remarks in an interview with this publication last week in which he also lauded Mogae for his ‘candid views’ on Khama’s conduct and the presidency. “Mogae has said it all and to us who have been there he was also answering what we have always been complaining of around 2002- hare neng rebotsa gore naare ha batho bangwe okare baitaolakaka hela jaana , aa kgabagare retlaa bakgona? (where we were asking whether we will eventually manage some people who are being allowed to do as they wish,).”
Kedikilwe says what is currently happening to the party and the nation is not only embarrassing but despicable and adds that “there can only be one president and constitution”.
“It is not about individuals with selfish interests whose agendas we are not even sure of, it’s about striving to unite the people and delivering on the promise and their hopes for a better Botswana,” PHK eloquently argued.
The former vice-president says it is sad that some people think the presidency is their sole prerogative “ It is unfortunate and ungentlemanly for some people to believe that the presidency is for a particular tribe or family.” He adds: “It is not hereditary; the presidency is open to all Batswana across the country and it is not for any tribe. It should not be monopolised.”
Kedikilwe makes a call for democrats to rise up and take the side of truth and justice, “we have been there and have seen how our party and country are run. Why change now? Let’s all unite and rally behind our president as we have done with all others.”
Kedikilwe argues that Masisi deserves a chance like any another, and must be supported in all his efforts so that he may like all be judged fairly in the fullness of time. He says Masisi’s opponents antics are aimed at destabilizing the party. “Why must we dump all the principles that we have been surviving through as a party now.” he lamented.
According to PHK, the current impasse between Masisi and Khama has already dealt a severe blow to Botswana, “people are asking us to account while some including our international friends want simple explanations, but we do not have answers. How do you explain this? What is it? We do not know.”
Kedikilwe says the nation yearns for more reforms under Masisi and urged him to be led by the struggles that define our nation. He cited high youth unemployment and a promising economy. “Our children are losing hope in us every day, our people are suffering and we must focus on the solutions. Those whose times have gone must not deter or disturb those whose time has come. The little resources we have must support and sustain us all and this is what we must strive for,” emphasised the former Vice President.
Kedikilwe also expressed regret at the disunity caused by the anti Masisi camp, “Our efforts have always been to unite this country but what we are seeing now by this cabal, is that they are sowing the seeds of disunity.”
Like other senior BDP leaders, PHK revealed that they have been quiet as the mediation continued, in the hope that the situation would normalise but now they have been forced out of their cocoon by unfolding circumstances, that are threatening to eat away the party and the nation. “Gare re rebatho bape hela, rebuwa hela gore gone yoo nang letsebe autlwe,gongwe goka thusa (we are not saying this claiming any importance but rather saying it with the hope that some will heed the advices),’ the veteran concluded.
Kedikilwe is a Botswana Democratic Party veteran and has been the party Chairperson, a Minister and Vice President.