Friday, 22 August 2008

Ian Khama: More British than African?

Khama endangers regional solidarity

EDITOR — It is amazing what Lilliputian African leaders will do to insult and malign Zimbabwe just to please Western countries in order to be noted on the world stage.

Now it is President Seretse Khama Ian Khama of Botswana, that quiet backwater which was once a British protectorate.

Protected from whom? Other Africans?

Khama is a colourless figure who became commander of the Botswana Defence Forces not through proven merit, but by virtue of being the son of Sir Seretse Khama, the founding president of Botswana and paramount chief of the Bamangwato.

He is not known to be the most erudite man of letters like President Mugabe, or even a man of great intellect. He is just another African boy of mixed race who was lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

Ian was born in England in 1953 of Sir Seretse Khama and an English mother, after the British government and church had done everything to stop his father and mother’s mixed race marriage.

He became commander of the Botswana army after attending Sandhurst, the British establishment’s military academy.

He became President of Botswana after a dubious process in which he retired from the army on the same day as President Quett Masire, who then elevated him against the requirements of the constitution to the vice presidency when his deputy Festus Mogae became president.

Since Botswana’s president is chosen by members of the ruling party in parliament, a by-election in a safe constituency had to be created for Khama to enter parliament and become vice president.

When he replaced Mogae as president on April 1 (Fools’ Day), 2008, the world was so focused on Zimbabwe, a much more important country, the media hardly noticed this handover of power in Botswana.

There were only sporadic reports of his inauguration.

During his time in office, he has clashed with the Green Party over the Media Practitioners Bill, which the opposition party described as "absurd", warning that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party was "moving towards dictatorship".

In a statement in the Botswana Gazette, the Green Party said: ‘‘Instead of adding to the Constitution a charter of rights and freedoms, a Human Rights Act, as well as a Freedom of Information Act, the government chooses to move back to the dark ages of ruling by the fist.

‘‘The proposed media law is an obvious projection of President Ian Khama’s dictatorship qualities that ‘Of course, this is the kind of hyperbole opposition parties engage in. So why does this hyperbole become the basis for foreign policy in Botswana, a country that is surely not a banana republic?’’’

The party accused Khama of banning the distribution of newspapers at the Seretse Khama Military Barracks during his leadership there because they had criticised him.

It noted Khama’s many altercations with the media, which he had described as "irresponsible" yet he listens to the same media when it criticises President Mugabe.

The party notes: "In typical army style, the commander did not see eye to eye with the Press."

The party concluded: "The worst form of oppression is mental slavery, thus we should emancipate ourselves of it."

Now, completely disregarding the advice of opposition parties which strongly warned him against undue criticism of Zimbabwe, saying the country was a key trading partner "with deep friendship roots", Khama has actually had the gall to tell other Sadc leaders that he does not recognise the Presidency of Cde Mugabe.

A man who was voted into power by more than two million Zimbabweans, a figure far bigger than the population of Botswana!

Who the hell does this British-groomed neophyte and upstart think he is?

Whose interests is he serving?

The Green Party was right.

This is a man with delusions of grandeur that make Adolf Hitler look like a polite gentleman.

Ian is obviously much closer to his mother’s commoner heritage than he is to the "friendship roots" that made him a member of a royal African lineage. Does he know how much animosity his misguided actions can create between the people of Botswana and Zimbabwe?

Is he that pedestrian?

If this is the sum total of his qualities as an African and an African leader, God help Botswana.

All Zimbabwe has to do is ignore him, or play his game and finance the opposition to get rid of him. To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I wonder how good he was at school in science in mathematics.

Phineas Mpofu.



Unsane said...

I'm still interested in hearing more from you about your views on Marechera. My own views reflect my particular needs and interests, and may not reflect the whole picture but just part of it.

I've been reading the stuff in your sidebar again. I think that one aspect that is not self-evident about the do-gooder aspect of Western culture is that it comes with certain ideological baggage about the best way to live. I have experienced this ideology quite a lot. It's the idea that everybody, no matter who, would really be happiest and most rational if they followed the ideology of bourgeois individualism. It's an ideology that says we fulfil our destiny has human beings when we are competing against each other economically, and fulfilling our narcissistic needs by making a beeline for the greatest amount of cash on offer. So many who want to "save" Zimbabwe would like to instill this kind of attitude in its citizens, as they believe that it is the only correct one.

Anonymous said...

I thought Mugabe had no supporters.. Oh well!. God help Zimbabwe, its such a nice country. They just need to get rid of people like you!

Phenyo said...

You talk about our president being a dictator. How can that be? You have had the same president for close to two decades now. I beg of you to please stop undermining the DEMOCRACY of THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA.

Is it really out of jealousy that you Zimbos-that have infected our country preach such lies about our president? We love our president. Whether he's Black or White COLOURED or yellow, he is a good leader.

Mind you, it is you that we are trying to help. We treat you like brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, FAMILY. But you decide to show your gratitude by publishing such absurd ideas.

I shall ask again for you to reply me.

What causes you to say such? Is it JEALOUSY??

Anonymous said...

I dont necessarily agree with everything our president does...but you arm-pit smelling zimbo are damn wrong...Botswana is a great country...a welcoming country where a lot of Mugabe supportters run for help...turn your stinking guns towards Mugabe and leave us alone