As the continuing feud between current and former heads of state rages on, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi says he regrets that he led the Botswana Democratic Party Members of Parliament in amending the President’s Pensions and Retirement Act in 2017.
Now Dr Masisi regrets the decisions he made when as Vice President he convinced his fellow MPs to rally behind the amendment. “We created a problem by amending this Act. “I am the only one qualified to speak about it because then I was leading the pack as Leader of the House and Vice President,” Dr Masisi told BDP South West regional elective congress in Moshupa recently.
The president stated that he has even raised the issue at the BDP Parliamentary Caucus meeting. He said it is time they become honest. He told the congress that this matter is a national issue because it is national resources they are talking about. He pointed out that they can no longer tolerate dishonesty. “We dropped the ball when we amended the Act. Former President the late Sir Ketumile Masire stayed for two (2) years without being availed a house by government,” he revealed.
Among other benefits the controversial Act now allows Dr Khama to use any government mode of transport of his choice, seek employment elsewhere while still getting 80% of his salary as housing allowance.
His regret comes at a time when his predecessor Dr Ian Khama is now a beneficiary of the amendment while at the same time they are entangled in a protracted standoff, which often ends in their engaging in public spats. What seems to have also annoyed Dr Masisi is that he is convinced that the former president has a hand in the challenge against his (Dr Masisi’s) presidency. Dr Masisi will defend his seat against former minister Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi as BDP President during an extraordinary congress later this year.