Khama was not a dictator, he was a leader

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 20 October 2020   |   By Lawrence Ookeditse
Ian Khama Ian Khama

A revolutionary movement has never been the preserve of a proletariat. All revolutions were led in part by an amalgamation of classes. And yes, in politics as it is in many other spheres of life, there are no permanent friends or enemies- only permanent interests.

That SKI may be wealthy is neither here nor there. No party in this country can say it does not have wealthy people within its fold. And the shunning of wealth is part of the reason we cry Indians arrive and take over our country. Because when a citizen is wealthy we have ways to look at them as though they do not belong. Remember, Marx himself argued differential access to wealth and its possession and power, that wealth itself is a tool for dominance and attainment of political power.

Fidel Castro was born wealthy to an estate said to have employee hundreds of people. Che was upper middle class. Friedrich Engels (the old white man with white hair alongside Marx) was born into a wealthy family in the yarn and cloth industry- they owned large scale cotton mills. So wealth and revolutionaries do go together.

Back to the fallacy of a proletariat revolution anyway. Listen, a proletariat revolution will not happen. And there is no vanguard party for the revolution in this republic. MELS is long gone. Deep in the belly of the beast that is BCP. The takeover by BCP of MELS is itself instructive. BCP is a social democratic party. MELS a scientific communism movement. But they co-exist.

The UDC in form and shape is a centre of left institution. In its approach to society and economics, it is social democratic in distribution of the economy but greatly capitalist in its approach to ownership of the means of production/ doing business/accumulation.

In essence, bar issues of efficiency and maybe ethics, the UDC and the BDP are the same. Zero difference ideologically. Anyone, then, who is in the UDC who claims they can not ideologically coexist with SKI is peddling hate. Afterall, SKI in many ways is a social democrat. So, let’s find other reasons for wishing to alienate SKI.

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Could the reason be in the foundation of the BNF? (See Keaoleboga Dipogiso), no. The reasons can not be. I disagree Ras. The BNF ideologue Dr Kenneth Koma made it clear over and over that the BNF is a multi organizational front whose intent is to unite disparate political organizations and interests in society to effect change. At no point does he say Kings, the wealthy and former rulers can not be welcome. At no point does the theory say leaders, the sons and daughters of leaders/feudalists/President etc can not be allowed into the front. It is a pervasion of history to argue that he at any point alluded to these. And for you who are marxists, key to Marxism is praxis right? Great.

In practice, the BNF has actually been led by feudalists before. Kgosi Bathoen was of a different class to you yet he led the party. The BNF popularity in the Ngwaketse territory is attributable to the influence of the great chief. So, we can not argue that Dr Koma had not intended for only the proletariat to lead and cooperate with the Front. That would be terrible revisionism. And it would be an unfortunate distortion of the teachings of Dr. Koma.

So what then could disbar SKI? Authoritarian. I shall call this the Kago Mokotedi theory. This should be attended to- it avers that SKI is Amin or Hitler or Eugene Terreblache (See Kago Mokotedi). I differ. This is a pervasion of reality and history. SKI was a firm but democratic leader. In theory yes everything is democratic. In reality, leadership is about making decisions. And there is no single decision that’ll ever please a whole nation. None. A decision we do not like we are conditioned to call authoritarian. So let’s not accept this revisionism that seeks to equate Khama to Amin or Hitler. It’s not true.

Where SKI failed, he failed as a person and leader like we all do. He was never a dictator ask those who are honest and were around him and are without agendas. While he was still with us, I argued at length against him in a meeting and never got backlash- when those around asked that I stop he simply said ‘let him speak’. They know I tell the truth. That alone can not prove he was not a dictator. But it’s an anecdotal note from me to say at times what we call a dictator is a reflection of our own fears and interests- because we have hidden motives and interests we fear to speak our truth then we say we were afraid. This is unfortunate and we have a duty to not allow this pervasion of history.

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Live and let SKI live cdes. Embrace him. 2024 we need a strong challenge. In the end, in politics, permanent enemies and friends do not exist. What exists are permanent interests.

*BDP Activist,  primary elections candidate for Nata/ Gweta constituency




Gaining clarity on the above cited nouns will help comrades to better understand the preposterous yet increasingly thorny issue of whether to allow Ian Khama into the UDC or not. How do comrades yearn for a National Democratic Revolution (NDR) by calling for preclusion of an individual citizen and free man from a supposedly democratic institution?

Isn't the individual's right of political association and affiliation a first generation civil and political human right in this country? What would it say about the UDC if, even before taking power, we contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights itself?


Back to the nouns.

1. Ideology refers to [ideas and ideals] that guide or underpin economic and political theory and policy.


2. Dogma generally refers to some [strong, official belief] which its adherents are not willing to discuss rationally.

To say since Karl Marx, theories of social organisation and economics have changed drastically is an understatement. If there be any institution today, that dogmatically holds onto Marxism or some other - ism, for that matter, without any progressive and adaptive change thereto, that institution is inherently unsuited to lead.


With specific reference to Botswana, "Indian" monopoly capital not "White" holds sway and Ian Khama in particular, although a rich capitalist, is neither part nor parcel of this cabal. How is he an enemy of the proletariat workers then?

Aren't those in the pockets of this Indian monopoly capital well known to all of us today? Aren't they the same ones, not Khama, who have rejected the UDC's living wage? Powered by crony capitalism, arent they looting state coffers even as we speak under pretext of a dubious State of Public Emergency?


Well did Obama advice Africa to cease pandering to "strong men" but rather to build "strong institutions". Strong men are created by weak institutions. UDC attacked the "strong man" Khama in his capacity as leader of a weak and benighted institution called the BDP. It was never personal. Now that Khama has abandoned the BDP and is picking it apart and now wishes to join with the UDC, how infinitely stupid we would be to heed dogmatic voices calling for his isolation as a form of punishment for his sins of commission and omission under the BDP!

UDC espouses social democracy, which is an ideology that extols the innovation and wealth creation capacity of private management whilst actively minimising its inherent social and environmental exploitative nature. What ought to besiege the UDC right now is not petty squabbles with individuals, but rather, the brokering of strategic partnership with "like minded" organisations that would enable us to reform and strengthen our institutions to serve our people better.



If democratic systems can install a Donald Trump, a Jacob Zuma and a Mokgweetsi Masisi, ours can surely install a Duma Boko. Why? He is intellectually far gifted than all of the above combined and what our country needs more than anything is implementation of intellectually astute solutions to our development challenges.


Being the intellectual expansionist he is, Duma Boko does not have process oriented human and institutional management skill and he doesn't have to, to be both the UDC and State president.

What Duma Boko needs to do beginning yesterday is to invest more time in genuine team build exercises with leaders from both the BNF and UDC Central Committees. There needs to emerge such high quality camaraderie  between Boko and our other leaders in both these parties such that they are able to over compensate for his administrative lapses.


UDC is an umbrella coalition. It goes without saying then that it must be steered by and through a shared governance otherwise our noble intentions will all be in vain my dear President Duma Boko.

I have founded and sit in boards of trusts and other organisations. Stipulated in the founding constitutions of most of these organisations is a clause that stipulates that a board shall be  dissolved if and when it fails to attend atleast two consecutive meetings without reasonable cause. I therefore pray that rumors about how our UDC CC hardly meets are not true.


May I counsel and urge you my fellow comrades from both the BCP and BNF to stop hurling insults at one another. Instead can we use our energies to demand accountability from our politburo on all pending pertinent matters. Can we actively organise and constructively engage and not tear apart. Before you press that send button, ask yourselves "am I building up or tearing down?".

Let's not lose our focus and respect before sechaba sa rona Betsho. Our key challenge is not the presidency of the UDC. Our key challenge is to retain our constituencies and to add to them significantly enough such that we are able to transform the governance of this country and the lives and livelihoods of our people.


"Cde Ian khama Seretse khama Of The Hotch Potch Formation Called The UDC! " Real, Imaginary or Euphemistic,  A Marxist Dialectical Overview



First things first. My misgivings and mixed feelings about the nomenclature Cde or Comrade to address a feudal Lord of aristocratic birth such as Ian Khama Seretse Khama defies Socialist revolutionary thought!

I can imagine Vladimir Lenin, Bukharin, Zenovive and Kharmeneve as well as Trotsky addressing King Niccollas ii when the Communist Party attained power in 1917!


 The whole aristocratic pedigree was exterminated and others were banished to the cold prisons of Siberia, in Botswana they seat at high table wine and dine with their former detractors! Phew!

I can imagine Earnesto Chenguevara, Raul Castro, Fedel Castro of the September Movement wining and dining at high table in five star hotels and motels of the Carrabian Islands with the former despot and dictator Batista after their fierce battles in the mountains against the Batista regime!


He was rather subjected to public execution together with his generals and retinue.

The pseudo revolution in Botswana  driven by greed and percuniary benefits, reeling under the encumbered by  dept , hungry to have access to the National treasury by crook or hock  offers their former adversary, despot and declared dictator a red carpet within their ranks!


 Their subservient, docile and ever loyal rank and file both the educated and their barely educate counterparts  shout empty revolutionary slogans on roof tops, shrilling like Crickets during the harmattan, with ear deafening choruses of " Viva Ian Khama Seretse Khama vivaaaa! Viva Mmadinotshe vivaa! ( Mmadinotshe deriving mainly from his temporary popularity with his servile people and communities at GaaMmagwato, some of whom are defeated communities such as the Karangas, Birwa, Kgalagadi and some San who pay tribute, alliagence and loyalty to their Ngwato overlord)

Kaaya Koruyezu,  Its an abomination, a feudal Lord whose authority and popularity hinges upon patronage and tribal conservatism, devoid of ideological direction can not earn nomenclatures of a revolutionary nature, "Cde Ian Khama Seretse Khama!" Yrrrrrrr!


Revolution Betrayed, Revolution circumvented. It's repulsive and nauseating if you understand the revolutionary context of the nomenclature " Cde" not in its ordinary loose,  English connotation and context but in its revolutionary socialist context.

Toivo Ja Toivo, Chris Tembelise Hani, Paul Rantao, Maitshwarelo Dabutha, Jackson Kautjiwa the revolutionary Namibian singer, Robbert Gabriel Mogube, Robert Sobokwe, Jośe Marti, Kenneth Goabamong Shololo Koma, Maithamako Mapiri, Kecjetswe Mpho, Philip Matante, Eric September who headed the Wankie Campaign with Chris Hani, Thabo Mbeki, Sam Nujoma, Joeslovo of the South African Communist Party, Nelson Mandela, Fedel Castro, Raul Castro, Chenguevara of the September Movement in Cuba, Chairman Mao zedong, Solomon Majuru of ZANLA, the military strategist in the Zimbabwean war of Liberation Magama Tongogara etc would not call e feudal Lord who during his tenure of office regressed the hard earned democratic creditials of his own country!


It is blasphemous a nomenclature for an aristocrat to share such with revolutionary icons I enumerated above. It's nauseating, mediocrity and hypocritical at best.

Revolution Betrayed And Circumvented. My solitary opinions and no gospel truth. My warm regards


The Marxist Theoritician