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Botswana denies claims it ‘mistreated’ former president Ian Khama

Botswana continues to provide presidential benefits to its estranged former President Ian Khama, Minister for Presidential Affairs, Hon. Kabo Neale Sechele Morwaeng, has exclusively revealed.

This is contrary to recent claims by the self-exiled former leader Khama who accused the Botswana government of refusing to facilitate his retirement benefits.

Minister Morwaeng underscored that the government continues to take care of Khama, who is reportedly residing in South Africa.

“I can assure you that every time we follow our Constitution, we always do that where we need to assist,” he said.

“Our only delay is that if they write a letter on a Friday, and we have Saturday, Sunday, and we see it on Monday, to them, it’s a delay.

“We have instructed our officials to ensure that all former presidents’ benefits are facilitated without delay, including him. The law requires that we facilitate and always do,” added Minister Morwaeng.

Since 2018, the incumbent Botswana President, H.E Mogkweetsi Masisi, has been at loggerheads with his predecessor, with the government accusing Khama of trying to manipulate and influence the current administration’s direction.

Meanwhile, the disappointed Minister revealed that several ruling Botswana Democratic Party [BDP] leaders had tried to facilitate peace talks between Khama and the incumbent Mogkweetsi Masisi. However, the two leaders are still at loggerheads, with Khama accusing his successor of plotting to assassinate him.

At the start of May 2023, Khama posted on social media that the government had “not acted” on a request to facilitate his travel to Europe for a democracy conference.

He had been invited to a Democracy Forum in Gdansk, Poland and had to confirm his attendance by May 31 2023, for the June 21 event.

“Delaying or refusing to facilitate the former President on his constitutional and retirement privileges by the government is a clear and deliberate violation of the constitution of the Republic of Botswana and deserves condemnation by all,” wrote Khama in a Facebook post on 2nd of May.

Surprisingly, last week, Khama attended the Democracy Forum funded by the same Botswana government he is accusing of failing him.

Botswana Government Communications and Information Systems’ Permanent Secretary, John Thomas Dipowe, stated that the benefits of former Presidents are covered under the green book in the Constitution of Botswana.

“He’s still entitled to all his benefits. Recently he travelled to London and Poland, and the government was paying for that trip as per the provisions of his retirement benefits.

“He still enjoys his retirement benefits. Nothing has changed about that,” Dipowe said.

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