Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) National Elders Committee has not yet given up on its efforts to unite President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor President Dr. Ian Khama.The two leaders who were once close allies are now not seeing eye to eye since Dr. Khama’s term came to an end and Dr. Masisi assumed the high office in April this year. While the tension has been dismissed for a while beginning this month the duo has admitted that they don’t enjoy a rosy relation.
The BDP elders who have been roped in to bring peace and unite the duo have failed in their attempts. President Masisi used his maiden State of the Nation Address to publicly inform the nation that the transition from the previous administration has not been as smooth as expected.
“However, it ought to be noted, I have in my attempt to smoothen the process engaged senior citizens namely; Dr. Festus Mogae, Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, Ray Molomo, Patrick Balopi and David Magang to assist and lead in smoothening the transition. I regret to announce that their efforts have not borne fruit up to this point,” Masisi said early this month. In an interview with Botswana Guardian this week, Balopi explained that their assignment is a work in progress. He revealed that they have not yet given up on their leaders and they remain hopeful that a long-lasting solution would be reached. He pointed out that at the moment details cannot be shared with the media because the issue has to be treated with the sensitivity it deserves.
“This is a sensitive matter and we have to treat it as such. We have been given this assignment and we cannot share it with third parties. Our elders will share everything when they are ready and feel they can share with the public. As for us we are just executing our assignment as per the request by our two presidents,” he said.
It has since emerged through newspaper reports that the duo had an agreement which Dr. Masisi did not fulfil. It was reported that Dr. Masisi would appoint Minister of Environment Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama Vice President once he had ascended to the presidency. Tshekedi Khama is the younger brother to the former President.
President Masisi has indicated that in the true tradition of Botswana, the mediation done by the elders should be managed, for the benefit of everyone. Khama then hit back at Masisi indicating that it is regrettable that the statement given on the occasion of the SONA about the situation concerning him and Masisi reflected only on one side without consultation with the other in order to give the nation a balanced perspective of progress on reconciliation or the lack of it.