Former President, Ian Khama, has been accused of using the controversy surrounding the build-up to Botswana Patriotic Front’s (BPF) elective congress next month as an excuse to ditch the party.
According to an insider at the BPF, Khama is cutting a deal with government to save his skin and will step back from politics in exchange for a safe return home.
“The deal is for him to have the charges against him dropped, then he can come back home. He will also be expected to stay away from politics and not harass the state,” claimed a source, adding there is fear within the ‘Ke Nako’ movement that Khama intends to ‘throw the party under the bus’.
“He is basically making it seem like it is about the congress outcomes and the angst about Tonota as the choice of venue when it is actually about the deals he is getting into.”
Through the week, SKI released a statement notifying his brother, BPF Secretary General, Tshekedi Khama, that he intends to reduce his activities on behalf of the BPF with immediate effect.
“I will remain patron for now as appointed at the last congress but my role and association with the BPF after that will depend on the composition of the next NEC after those elections.”
When The Voice contacted Khama for further comment, the former President, who remains in South Africa in self-imposed exile, showed no signs he’s keen to bury the hatchet with his successor.
He noted there had been several attempts by different people to address the subject of his ‘harassment’ at the hands of government but all proved futile and were rejected by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
“I guess there will be other attempts by the same people or others going forward with the same outcome, no doubt. Deals, in my understanding, are made to have some relief from something you have done wrong in exchange for what you have been doing that is required to be dropped. I have done nothing wrong to cause me to make deals to drop whatever! I will continue to live my life and make adjustments as and when necessary as I have been doing and for however long it takes.”
Khama emphatically dismissed suggestions he would use the up-coming congress as an excuse to dump the BPF, stating, “If I wanted to, I would just go ahead and leave immediately and not wait for anything.”
Meanwhile, BPF spokesperson, Lawrence Ookeditse, was reluctant to discuss the issue.
“At this moment I cannot have a comment about what is attributed to the patron. He has not said it to the NEC nor to me so I do not want to risk misrepresenting anything,” said Ookeditse, reiterating that what he knows is that their patron is committed to the ideas of the party and the quest for regime change.
Sadly, efforts to get a comment from government failed.