President Lt. Gen. Ian Khama who doubles as Kgosikgolo of Bamangwato tribe will have a showdown in the greater Serowe area beginning this week in his last leg to bid the nation farewell.
Khama’s visit to Ga-Mmangwato capital will be done in two parts. First, he began with a tour of the three Serowe constituencies on 22 March and yesterday (Thursday) an emotional visit to Mmashoro in Serowe West constituency at 9 am then Paje in Serowe North at 11:30 am before completing his tour in Thabala village at 14:15 pm at Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s Serowe South constituency. The last meeting of Khama is expected to be attended by all cabinet ministers, Magosi a Botswana, diplomats and many invited dignitaries. There will be a Kgotla meeting on March 27 where he will visit the main Kgotla in Serowe.
Khama’s farewell visits were done in such a way that he starts in Moshupa- Mmanaana constituency where he informed BaKgatla baga Mmanaana that he is leaving the presidency in the capable hands of their Member of Parliament and Vice President, Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi.
Although March 27th still remains a closely guarded secret, Khama is expected to inform his tribe that he has completed the national assignment in which he served both the army and politics in the presidency and is now returning to take his Bogosi position on full time basis.
Khama was installed as Kgosikgolo of Bangwato in 1979 while still a Brigadier in the Botswana Defence Force. He has never assumed the responsibilities of traditional leadership on full time basis. In line with cultural practice, the ceremony took place at the main Kgotla- the same place where he is expected to announce his return to take his position and birthright.
On his coronation, Khama was draped in a lion’s skin by his father and founding president, the late Sir Seretse Khama. On that day he wore his ceremonial military uniform. Sir Seretse told Bamangwato that although he was installing Ian Khama as their Kgosikgolo, he nevertheless is borrowing him so that he continues doing his national duty as he was serving in the army as a deputy commander. The tribe agreed to let him continue in the military. As records shows, from the time of his coronation it has been understood that, for the time being, he would remain engaged in national service, leaving Bamangwato tribal administration duties in the hands of a nominated Tribal Authority, Sediegeng Kgamane. Among the many presents that Bamangwato gave to their Kgosikgolo at the time was a Mercedes Benz car.
Khama retired from the army in April 1998 and joined politics. He was appointed Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration. In July of that year, he won the Serowe North Constituency bye-election following the resignation of the then MP, Roy Blackbeard. He was thereafter nominated for Vice President by President Festus Mogae which nomination was endorsed by Parliament. He was then appointed Vice President and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The three constituencies are expected to set a new record regarding presents Bamangwato tribe and their friends will give Khama for serving the nation for so many years. It goes without saying that Bamangwato, who count amongst great cattle barons of this country, will surely give him more cattle than any other constituency and, or tribe. It is just a question of how many. So far Khama has received in excess of 500 cattle from Batswana.