Connect with us

News

Death does not scare me – Masisi

Published

on

ALWAYS NEARBY: DIS boss Peter Magosi was always within touching distance of the president amid heightened security threats

At the height of the well-pronounced disunity within the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), fears abound that the life of President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi is under threat.

However, such reports come a long way, from as early as when he was Vice President during which time he survived food poisoning and a plane crash that killed two army officers just before he was to be transported in the aircraft.

The intelligence and related reports suggesting that the president could be assassinated grow everyday, and those close to the presidential security personnel say there are several factors on the ground pointing to the tension that engulfs the first citizen. The president himself on Saturday alluded to the reported security threats around his life, but was quick to say he was not afraid to die. He said there are people who have been telling him that they fear for his life and that he should be careful.

“I met some business people from whom we have been seeking donations and they said they were afraid for my safety. I told them I don’t waste my time thinking that I am going to die. It is certain I am going to die. All of us are going to die,” he told the BDP delegates at the party’s retreat in Palapye on Saturday.

Despite the utterances by the president, the situation on the ground told a different story. Security that manned the entire Majestic Five Hotel was super intense, lending credence to earlier reports that suggested the presidential security arm was also worried by the death threats reported by the party’s warring factions. Even as he publicly said he was not afraid to die, the president would not allow any slight mistake even among people that could be said to be his trusted fellows within the party.

This was the second time BDP converged at Majestic Five Hotel since Dr Masisi became president last year April. The first was on the 11 of August 2018 when the party held a meeting following the postponement of its primary elections. Even though security presence was very visible then, it could not match the one deployed this past Saturday.So intense was the security this weekend that even the head of intelligence, Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) Director Peter Magosi was present at the retreat – an unusual thing as junior officers at DIS are often deployed wherever the president is.

Brigadier Magosi was never out of sight of the president, ensuring he did not delegate this assignment to any of his officers. Magosi has been criticised for this arrangement but the spy chief has made it clear that the safety of the head of state is one of his key responsibilities. “Masisi seems to trust only Magosi and with some members within the DIS still seen to be loyal to the previous DIS boss and former president, Magosi is forced to lead Masisi’s security from the head as he is deemed the best person to quickly detect anything from his knowledge of the officers,” a BDP source shared.

Some sources even suggest that through their alleged ownership of some spy equipment, former DIS boss Isaac Kgosi and former president Ian Khama still have visual and audio access to the State House, a situation that has resulted in Masisi refusing to use the place until he is sure it is cleared of all spy equipment. It is no secret that both Kgosi and Khama are at loggerheads with Masisi whom they feel is out to harass them.

But it is unclear who could be targeting the president, a matter seen to be a covert operation yet to be unmasked. The weekend’s retreat venue in Palapye had three search points – at the main gate where all motor vehicles were searched by police and Botswana Defence Force officers; and two other points manned by BDP officials and Security Systems’ officers where democrats had to show proof that they were delegates for the retreat.

It was during this search that some South African nationals were reportedly arrested by Serowe Police after being found in possession of a firearm. The party also ensured that only party members with accreditation entered the premises and the hall and the accreditation was done at Lotsane Secondary School instead of the hall where the retreat was held.

An altercation even ensued in one of the checkpoints when veteran politician and member of the BDP Labour Committee Kgang Kgang got in a heated argument with Mbakisano Tjiyapo, a member of the Communications and International Relations Committee, for failing to produce his accreditation. Kgang also contested BDP primaries for Mogoditshane constituency in January last year and lost to Tshepang Mabaila who has since been suspended from the party for five years.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

Sheila Tlou: I am ready to serve under Masisi

Keletso Thobega

Published

on

NOT HAPPY: Sheila Tlou says she gets embarrassed having to continue telling the international community that Botswana is a country of peace while its leaders hackle each other in public

Young people, particularly girl children who want to advance in their careers and participate in governance and leadership should forget about boys and focus on their personal development.

This was said by Sheila Tlou in an interview with The Midweek Sun this week. Tlou was recently listed among the 100 most Influential African women by Avance Media.She was recognised in the Diplomacy category.

Tlou, who is currently the co-chair of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition initiated by UNAIDS and UNFPA, and the co-chair of the Nursing Now Global campaign, has an impressive and well-documented legacy in the health sector that includes a tenure as Minister of Health in Botswana and a stint as chairperson of the African Union ministers of health.
Tlou expressed hope that this award would serve as inspiration for many Batswana who are committed to serving their country diligently in any capacity to persevere and remain steadfast in their chosen fields.

She was positive that more Batswana women would be included in the coming years because “she is not the only one” pointing out that there are many Batswana who are doing great work in development.

Meanwhile, Tlou said she would not turn down President Mokgweetsi Masisi if he were to summon her to take up any role in his administration. “I have a lot of respect for Masisi. I can identify with him as someone who grew up in a rural village and has worked his way to the top,” she said.

She said Masisi could elevate the lives of young people and help them tap into the arts industry, which is a minefield with potential to grow the economy. “He has a background in acting and therefore has an understanding and appreciation for the arts and the contribution they make to not only character building but also economic opportunities,” she said.

She however noted that she had Batswana’s interests at heart and would support anyone voted to be president. She did not want to be drawn into the feud between Masisi and former President Ian Khama as well as the infightings that have seen the BDP dealing with yet another breakaway party and mass resignations but pointed out that like all other Batswana, her hope is that the two individuals would resolve their issues and bury the hatchet.

“As a Motswana who travels across the world, I spread the message of how our country is a land of peace and tranquillity. What is happening obviously does not sit well with me especially as civil developments are not taking place.

“We need to focus on the needs of people rather than the needs of individuals. That said, I look forward to elections and working on the national mandate to improve the lives of Batswana. I hope that whoever loses will hold their horses and support the elected President of our country.”

Continue Reading

News

‘Come back home,’ Masisi to Khama

Published

on

COME BACK BOSS: Masisi wants Khama back at BDP

President Mokgweetsi Masisi is gravely worried about his predecessor Ian Khama finding a new home in the opposition block.

Khama ditched Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) early this year indicating that the party has lost focus and was no longer welcoming. He left the BDP following his protracted standoff with Masisi after the latter assumed state presidency.

Masisi told a BDP gathering this past Saturday in Goodhope when launching Parliamentary candidate for the constituency Eric Molale and his councillors that he feels sorry for Khama. According to Masisi, the opposition especially Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), is abusing and using the former president for their gain in the coming general elections. Khama, who is founding Patron of Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) has revealed that his party will work with the UDC to ensure that the BDP loses the election.

Khama has explained that they have no problems with some of the BDP candidates that they are targeting, but rather their leader.While some BDP members now feel that Khama is better-placed with the opposition rank given his unwavering attacks on the ruling party, Masisi wants him back ‘home.’ “It is heartbreaking to see how the opposition is treating him. Those people do not love him. If there are people who love him, it is us at the BDP.

“They are abusing him. You have to pray for him to come back home where he belongs. Churches and diviners have to do something about the situation so that he would see the light and return home,” said Masisi.

The president feared that the opposition is using Khama for political mileage and would dump him after the general elections. He called on Batswana to give his party another chance at the polls so that he could execute his mandate of uplifting the lives of Batswana. According to Masisi only the BDP has the interests of the country and its citizens at heart.

Continue Reading

Trending