Botswana: War of Words Between Masisi, Khama Heats Up

Left: Former Botswana leader Ian Khama. Right: President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
31 July 2019

Cape Town — There's no love lost between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and former president Ian Khama. The latest spat comes after Masisi informed Khama that he has been relieved of the position of Champion of the Vision 2036 Council.

A letter sent by Carter Muropisi, Permanent Secretary to the President, to Khama read:

"I have been instructed by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, to duly inform you that he has taken the decision to relive you of the position of Champion of the Vision 2016 Council. For the avoidance of any doubt be advised that upon receipt of this communique you are immediately relieved of the as Champion of the Vision 2036 Council. His Excellency extends his gratitude for the role you played in the afore-mentioned position and wishes you all the best in your future endeavours."

Khama came out guns blazing, pointing at inconsistencies regarding his removal from the position and noting the "vindictive nature" of Masisi's presidency, writing:

"It was not clear in your correspondence when you stated initially that I am relieved of the position of Champion and in the next sentence you write I am immediately relieved as Champion which suggests reinstatement that contradicts the initial sentence. However, I will then assume based on the vindictive nature of your regime that the actual intention is to remove me as Champion by the outgoing President. If it is a spelling mistake, it reflects a comedy of errors typical of yourselves as well as not addressing me correctly."

Khama's response went on to criticise Masisi's "childish tactics" of attempting to remove him from all the positions he currently holds. This exchange comes after Khama said he will support the opposition against the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in the country's forthcoming elections.

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