For and against Ian Khama

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 02 September 2020   |   By Tiego Mpho
Khama Khama


Tiego Mpho


Spent yesterday afternoon with a guy whose mental faculties I  admire greatly. Turns out he is yet another of my really woke friends who in 2019 voted the BDP at last minute because, in their own words, "the UDC had decided to jump into bed with Khama" (whatever that means).

I was reminded of a call I got recently from an elderly lady who was effectively warning me to tone down on any rhetoric that could be interpreted as defending Khama, if I was still interested in running for public office in the future, she had said. I am about to disappoint her.


These people, and they must be many, detest either Khama the man or Khama's governance record and legacy to such an extent that they won't tolerate any organisation or individual that dares to accommodate or sympathise with him in anyway.

They seem to not care that Khama, as an individual, could not have exercised power at all, or in the manner that he did outside of the BDP as an institution which aided and abetted his rule or misrule. Their conviction, stance and understanding of politics is very similar to that of President Donald Trump and other top Republican party leaders in relation to President Obama's presidency I. E. A black man  cannot rule America.


Targeted racism against Obama explains the GOP's disdain for him. In our case, what underpins disdain for Khama? Is it a perception of increased populism, nepotism, corruption and authoritarianism over the course of his presidency? These are accusations Only us in opposition levelled at him then. The rest of the BDP cheered and extolled him for over 10 years. Some, including the current president, unashamedly declared the infallibility of "Rraetsho le mananeo a gagwe" as well as their absolute and undying loyalty to him.

In the final analysis, the choice before us is a stark one. As a citizen and voting constituent, do you prefer a political party that quivers, plays sycophant and facilitates populism, nepotism and authoritarianism for over a decade or one that unapologetically tells truth to power and denounces populism, nepotism and authoritarianism for equally as long?


At UDC, our politics is clear and bright as day in my considered view. Our political enemy has been and will always be the BDP. Our opposition to and denouncement of KHAMA'S policies and actions was in his role as President and leader of the BDP and not in his personal or individual capacity.

In war, do you arrest and court Marshall a soldier who once fought against you but is now unequivocally on your side, or do you give him a gun? Truly, all is fair in love and war.


It is therefore NOT hypocritical of the UDC to support Khama, or anyone else for that matter, against a vindictive BDP government that has had the audacity to fabricate evidence against them.

It is also still not hypocritical of the UDC to cooperate and align electorally with a Khama that is no longer a member and leader of the BDP.  He remains a free man with as much rights as anyone of us including those of association.


The day a political party announces that a free citizen, yet to be tried and found guilty of criminality, CANNOT become a member thereof  is the day our rule of law depreciates irreversibly. In this regard, the Mob is wrong and must be coaxed to change its mind.

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