Was it Masisi or Molefhi?

SHARE   |   Monday, 30 May 2016   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Masisi and Molefhi Masisi and Molefhi

Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi's attendance at the Youth Expo on Wednesday has raised questions over his recovery, since Minister Nonofho Molefhi accompanied him and appeared to deputise and handle some of his duties on the day. The appearance of Masisi at the Youth Expo was the last public appearance as he failed to attend the High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) meeting on Thursday morning, which was attended by President Khama, his cabinet and the business community. On Wednesday, Molefhi had been scheduled to tour the Youth Expo stalls at Ditshupo hall before Masisi appeared on the scene and took the tour as well. On the same Wednesday morning, government Facebook page showed Masisi being welcomed into his office by Molefhi with a caption that reads, “he was welcomed by Molefhi and other cabinet ministers,” although there was no other minister except the two.

Upon Khama's return from Mozambique he was welcomed back home by Molefhi at the airport, a clear sign that he was the one in charge of affairs. Masisi, whose position as VP is under threat, is said to be eager to return to office, as some within his own party - the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) want Molefhi to challenge him for the presidency when Khama retires in 2018.  Some even suggest that although it was gazetted that Masisi was the acting president in Khama's absence, it was Molefhi who handled most of the duties. Asked to clarify the confusion that happened on Wednesday Ramsay insisted that Masisi was the acting President and that Molefhi just accompanied him to the Youth Expo. On the non-appearance of Masisi at the airport to welcome President Khama, Ramsay said that the VP was having lunch with guests at the Youth Expo. He said that they hope that Vice President Masisi will resume full duties next week as now he is still resting.

According to an earlier press statement by Ramsay, Masisi was instructed by doctors to rest at home before he could resume his official duties. Masisi was released from hospital last week Friday two days before President Ian Khama left for Mozambique on a state visit. Sources close to the Vice President said Masisi has not fully recovered and has been ordered to rest. “He has been under strict monitoring,” said the source.