There are no permanent foes in politics or business. The Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Sadique Kebonang best exemplifies that. In 2005 Kebonang wrote a scathing letter titled ‘A mortgaged democracy’ in which he criticised President Khama, accusing him of thinking that Botswana is his father’s estate. “For him, the voice of the people does not matter. The country is his father’s estate! As a matter of observation, every time controversy arises, our President is always out of the country,” reads the letter written in 2005. He penned the letter after government under the presidency of Festus Mogae deported Professor Kenneth Good who wrote a research paper titled, Presidential Succession in Botswana: No Model for Africa critiquing President Khama who by then was the Vice President. Debating the State of the Nation Address (SONA) Kebonang said he regrets ever writing that letter as it is now used to attack him every time he tries to speak good about President Khama. “I was still fresh from university and excited when I wrote the letter. Now and then people refer me to the letter,” he said with a sombre voice.
Kebonang, who is the MP for Lobatse, said though he criticised President Khama’ style of rule, he didn’t use it against him. To his surprise, President Khama appointed him to Cabinet though he was a political green horn first as an assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry and later elevated to a full minister. He said that he is the first member of his family to be appointed to cabinet and has told his mother that even if he can die anytime he will rest peacefully. “I have achieved what anyone in my family let alone my age mates have not done,” he said to the laughter of the MPs. He confessed that he likes positions and will be happy to continue serving as cabinet minister even after President Khama has left office. Kebonang is regarded as one of President Khama’s trusted lieutenants and part of the inner circle something that shocked many due to what he wrote in 2005.