Botswana: 'Integrity of Botswana Governance At Test'

Gaborone — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has decried the fact that those injured by the outcome of the past elections are now engaged in the most debilitating expression of disparaging conduct.

In a press conference at State House December 10 upon arrival from Kenya, where he had attended the African, Caribbean and Pacific summit, Dr Masisi termed serious allegations that were being made.

"What is at test is the integrity of our governance, it is no longer Mokgweetsi Masisi, it is no longer the BDP, it's the integrity of our governance, it's the integrity of our institutions, it is also a disparaging questioning, particularly by those external, aided and abated by those internal for whatever reason," he said.

Dr Masisi described the goings-on as condescending and patronising as well as questioning the integrity of Botswana as a sovereign state.

"Everybody is entitled to their view, I hold that dearly and sacrosanct to our peaceful coexistence. I have pledged as I still do and repeat my commitment to be an addict to the rule of law. There is nothing I can do when an investigation goes in a particular direction. Any attempts on my part to interfere with either of that would not only be an expression of poor judgment and poor governance, it will be a direct interference on my part in processes that are meant to be independent and to be adjudged impartially by those affected," he said.

President Masisi said in Botswana, every citizen was perceived to be innocent until proven guilty adding that issues emanating from recent events had dented the country's image.

"It is true the issues that have come before us have dented our image, but you had to answer the question, should we because we are afraid of our images to be dented, sweep those under the carpet? You answer me and tell me what kind of society we create if we did that, so as for me and from where I stand, I say out of knowledge of our system the truth will emerge," he added.

Dr Masisi said the courts of law were open for anybody feeling injured by allegations to seek redress.

He said that also applied to government.

"Botswana has not changed, not one bit, we are where we are because we chose to be where we are. I am not intimidated by any of those grandstanding statements, not at all, I have a job to do and I want to do it to the best of my ability," he said.

President Masisi said the past general elections were not only conducted on the basis of the Electoral Act but also according to the requirements of the Constitution of Botswana.

"And this time you must ask yourself why this time? Where do we get this creativity of discovering the flaws in a constitution that has not been altered? Where do we get that incredible ridiculousness of questioning the legitimacy of our electoral law that has not been altered since the last elections?" he asked rhetorically.

Dr Masisi said the law had been amended to allow for the use of the electronic voting machine (EVM) "and guess who put a brake to it? And guess what for? The very same protagonists were at the centre of either promoting the EVM and their reasons therein including other protagonists who are at the centre of total want of the EVM and a sudden somersault to disdain of the EVM, strange bed fellows, paradoxical".

He said it was also curious that people travelled to a neighbouring country seeking to steer and cause instability on the basis of imaginations that had been very difficult to evidence.

"You need to ask yourself as citizens, what the motives of other citizens who subscribe to this are, go and ask them what they want to do, what are they thinking of us, why is the world only perfect when they do things? Where do they suddenly get this hyper-super intellect and competence?" he said.

Dr Masisi warned that such characters and those they associated with must be examined.

He said if pushed to express his views, he would gladly do so.

"I have decided over time to be quiet, I have decided to ignore a lot of abuse because running this country is not about me, not about my person, but doing what Batswana need, jobs, service delivery among others. It mustn't be thought or assumed I am unable to speak or think or respond, the time I decide to respond I will respond so fully you won't ask what I said even those I respond to I will respond so comprehensively... they will never try again. Ask them to be quiet. Their time is past," he said.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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