Former Botswana President Ian Khama on Monday used his official social media platform to slam the country’s current leader Mokgweetsi Masisi for what he termed ‘Shameful Hypocrisy’ after Masisi and his cabinet observed a moment of silence for the slain American, George Floyd.
Khama suggested in his facebook offering that the current Botswana President was merely playing to the gallery and fooling the world by pretending he cares about human rights, stating: “…when Presidents have their Cabinet Ministers stand to observe a moment of silence, it is shameful hypocrisy.”
Botswana ministers gathered at the end of last week for a cabinet meeting where they, together with President Masisi, observed a moment of silence in honour of Floyd, the American of African descent who was killed in an act of police brutality a fortnight ago.
Khama counted Botswana as one of the countries in the world where there is political intolerance, saying such countries have no right to honour Floyd when they are at the forefront of brutal activities.
“He lost his life as a result of racial intolerance which has long plagued America and has been fueled by white supremacists like Donald Trump.
“But intolerance of one type or the other has been in existence worldwide and been responsible for the deaths, brutality, harassment and intimidation of citizens by states for a very long time. Be it intolerance of ones race, like for example in the days of apartheid South Africa, or even now in America and China, or intolerance of ethnicity as with the genocide in Rwanda and now still in Cameroon and again China, or religious intolerance as in Nazi Germany, and now against the Palestinians and still in China, and last but not least political intolerance which has happened and is still happening in many parts of the world including China and has raised its ugly head in Botswana as well,” Khama said.
He added: “Therefore when some countries who continue to engage in brutality and harassment of their own citizens then issue statements condemning the killing of George Floyd, and when Presidents have their Cabinet Ministers stand to observe a moment of silence, it is shameful hypocrisy. Going forward you should keep monitoring these countries as they will continue these unlawful acts and thus prove to us all this hypocrisy to be true.
Khama has since handing over power been critical of the current President whom he accused of stifling his liberties, and reneging on promises he made to him on his post-presidency era. Botswana’s media reports have since 2018 suggested that Masisi broke his promise by not making Ian Khama’s brother a Vice President. It is reported that part of Khama handing the presidency to Masisi was based on the understanding that Khama’s brother would then become the second-in-command, in preparation for him taking over later in the years.
Khama has denied ever asking Masisi for such favours, but Masisi has himself insinuated such in political rallies leading to last year’s general elections in Botswana, which Masisi won convincingly despite Khama working with the opposition to unseat him. The two men do not see eye to eye now, with recent reports saying Masisi declined Khama’s application to rejoin the ruling party which he dumped for the opposition ahead of the 2019 elections. Khama has again denied ever wanting to rejoin although the party’s spokesperson Banks Kentse confirmed to the contrary.