Khama is a spoiled dictator – Saleshando, Motlhagodi

Ian Khama

An official of the Botswana Congress Party, Annah Motlhagodi, has warned that Botswana is heading for a dictatorship.

Motlhagodi, who is the BCP’s parliamentary candidate for Gaborone West North constituency, was addressing a rally at Maru-a-pula on Sunday.She said everyone including soldiers and police officers, are leaving in fear of the dreaded Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

Motlhagodi, who is also a private attorney, said there is concern about the operations of the directorate. She said DIS agents do not identify themselves when they arrest people.  She wondered how one can raise a complaint about the DIS agents when you do not know their identity.  She said the directorate is allowed by law to use "reasonable force". 

She added that if DIS officials slap you, they might have been assumed to have used "reasonable force" and this means that no action will be taken against them. Motlhagodi said she knows of people who were questioned about their movements at night by unidentified agents.  The BCP activist said journalists are also under threat from the state. She said dictatorial governments are identified by enacting media and intelligence services laws.  "You will never find any dictatorial government which has not come up with these laws," she said.

She said when the Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe was losing popularity, he came up with similar laws.  Motlhagodi said in any democratic state, freedom of the press is guaranteed.  She said once journalists are silenced, the state is turning into a dictatorship.Moatlhagodi said even civil servants are living in fear due to the new leadership.  The BCP official said President Ian Khama is intending to annihilate the opposition.   She pointed out that the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary caucus is the devil which has silenced debate in Parliament.

"We are ready to face the BDP if they want to silence debate in Parliament," she said.Motlhagodi said the nation is facing a crisis.  She said Khama is killing employment by imposing the liquor levy and reducing the trading hours of liquor establishments.

Addressing the same rally, the BCP publicity secretary, Dumelang Saleshando said leaders throughout the world are talking about the economic recession and what their governments are doing about it.  He said this is not happening in Botswana.  In Botswana, he said, the leaders are saying they are assessing the situation.   He wondered how long they are going to take.Saleshando blamed President Khama for throwing money at problems.  "You cannot be distributing money if you are a president," he told the rally.

Saleshando said Khama was pampered from the word go since he became a politician. He warned that most dictators were groomed by their people.

He said the laws of this country have  never affected Khama.   Saleshando charged that Khama has always been given special treatment because he is the late President, Seretse Khama’s son.  "Gatwe nnyaa, yo ke ngwana wa ga Seretse," he said, when the rules are bended to favour Khama.He recalled that Khama was made the Vice President when he was not a member of Parliament, adding that it was the first time that this happened in the country."You cannot be an MP and a Kgosi at the same time but Khama is an exception," he said.He said the former Batawana Paramount Chief Tawana Moremi renounced his chieftainship when he joined politics but Khama did not do the same.  He said Tawana could not go and drape any chief in a leopard skin.   In contrast, he said, when Bakgatla Kgosi Kgolo was installed, Khama was invited as a Kgosi to go and drape him.

He said when Khama was still an MP, he was given a year’s sabbatical leave.  Saleshando said MPs do not take leave: "They do not fill in any leave form".

Saleshando told the rally that when Khama was MP, he did not attend Parliament regularly but nothing was done about it.  He said BDP veteran MP, Daniel Kwelagobe, used to reprimand other MPs for late coming but not Khama for his perpetual absence.

Saleshando said Khama was allowed to pilot Botswana Defence Force (BDF) aircraft after he retired from the army.  The fiery BCP MP said to make matters worse, Khama dragged his younger brother to Parliament to succeed him in his constituency. To him, Khama does not follow any rule.Saleshando also expressed concern about the militarisation of the civil service.

He cited the Central Transport Organisation (CTO) and the Department of Prisons and Rehabilitation as some of the departments which are being headed by soldiers.  He said there is talk that soldiers are going to be awarded ambassadorial posts.Saleshando also said many people are going to lose their jobs because Khama has introduced stringent liquor laws.However, he is not surprised by Khama’s behaviour because the president has never faced any hardships in life like other Batswana.  He said Khama has never written an application letter applying for a job. Neither has the president ever boarded a taxi in his life nor paid rent. – Mmegionline

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