Respect my VP! Khama warns Tshekedi

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 18 April 2017   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Respect my VP! Khama warns Tshekedi

President Ian Khama is said to have finally reigned over his younger brother Tshekedi Khama, demanding that he stops his negative public utterances against Government and Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Recently, President Khama is said to have called a family meeting at Ruretse farm in the outskirts of Gaborone where he is said to have raised concern that the continued negative public comments by Tshekedi Khama was giving the opposition a lee way and polarising the ruling party. The meeting, which was attended by their elder sister Tebogo Khama, called on Tshekedi – the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism – to stop his criticism of the Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) and Masisi. "He was told by both the elder sister and twin brother Anthony to show respect to Masisi and endorse him as the chairman for the BDP,” said the source. Though he has not publicly declared which lobby list he belongs to, Tshekedi is said to have inclined to Nonofho Molefhi in the BDP chairmanship race. It is expected that after the Ruretse meeting he will move camp and rally behind Masisi as per family orders. This is said to be the second meeting that President Khama had with his outspoken younger who is not afraid to express his misgivings at and about both the party and government.

A highly placed source has revealed that President Khama called Tshekedi to his office after his outburst about the P15 million which was requested by DISS to pay suppliers and costs incurred during the BOT50 celebrations. In his debate of the supplementary budget, Tshekedi Khama blasted government, saying it was clear it didn’t value Batswana whose lives and property were being destroyed by wild animals and needed compensation. “We have people who have their relatives killed by wild animals while others have their crops destroyed. We are failing to compensate them due to lack of funds, yet we can splash over P15 million into DISS coffers,” he said during the debate last month. Opposition MPs supported his call that part of the P15 million should be given to his ministry to compensate farmers whose crops were destroyed by elephants. This is said to have been the last straw that killed the camel’s back as immediately after his debate, he received an SMS from his elder brother who told him to stop making a mockery of his government. Shockingly, during the vote for the supplementary budget, Tshekedi voted for its approval. Tshekedi Khama was then summoned to the Office of the President where President Khama told him to respect DISS boss Isaac Kgosi and Vice President Masisi.

OP summons
In a press briefing recently, the Leader of Opposition Duma Boko revealed that Tshekedi has informed them that they are living under difficult time as they are continuously summoned to OP. “He even showed us an SMS from President Khama when we were voting for the DISS supplementary budget,” he said. The relationship between President Khama and his younger brother has allegedly been blowing hot and cold for some time with Tshekedi often being bold enough to question his decisions. After the 2014 General Elections at a meeting in Ruretse, Tshekedi allegedly opposed the appointment of Masisi as Vice President but his brother stuck to his decision. In 2013, he attacked some people who were misleading the President about BDP primary elections handling. “They have ensured that no one comes near the President and want to ensure some people lose the primary elections because they have their own agendas,” he blasted in an interview with a private radio station. He declared in 1995 that he wanted to join politics to help his father’s party which by that time was polarised by factions and had performed poorly at the 1994 elections where Botswana National Front (BNF) garnered 13 parliamentary seats. It is alleged that party elders advised him to wait a little longer before joining active politics. He came when his elder brother became president in 2008. Efforts to contact Tshekedi were futile as he did not answer his mobile phone nor respond to messages left on his phone.