Response to article entitled “khama lied to sabc” dated 15th march 2019

His Excellency the Former President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama notes with serious concern the allegations levelled against him in the Botswana Guardian newspaper of 15th March 2019 under the headline “Khama lied to SABC”.

The article is set on a tone of malicious intent whose purpose is to discredit Former President Khama, cast him in bad light as a liar who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of this country. The writer accuses Former President Khama of being reckless and selfish. The article further casts aspersions of treason and sabotage on the part of the Former President. These very serious allegations are not to be taken lightly. By intentionally ignoring the basic facts on the ground since this is no longer a breaking story, one can tell from the article that the writer has an agenda.

His Excellency the Former President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama dismisses these allegations with the contempt they deserve. The allegations are preposterous and border on deformation of character. It is very disappointing to note that the Botswana Guardian did not bother to get the Former President’s side of the story. Basic tenants of journalism require that a story be balanced and both sides be afforded a chance to respond, unfortunately this is glaringly missing in this article. Former President Khama and none of his staff were ever contacted by your publication.

This was obviously a deliberate attempt to tarnish the good name of the Former President. Furthermore, the story lacks credibility as reinforced by the writer’s own admission that he or she did not speak to anyone from the DIS since Brigadier Peter Magosi was unreachable. Unfortunately the said officers have been charged by the Directorate of Intelligence Service.

It is common cause that due to the continued mistreatment and harassment of the Former President Khama by the current administration, his security detail and protocol was withdrawn and instructed not to accompany him on his trip to India for the 60th Tibet Uprising Celebrations. The Former President was never officially informed of the withdrawal but only heard it verbally from the affected officers. Apparently the officers received the instruction through telephone calls.

The Former President, having not received any communication in writing from the Directorate of Intelligence Service then proceeded with them on the trip. The constitution requires that the Former President be protected twenty four hours every day, furthermore he is entitled to four international trips and there are no conditions as to who and where he should visit. Had your esteemed writer bothered to enquire, this information would have been freely availed. 

Needless to say the article was a shoddy piece of someone’s fertile imagination, seasoned with personal disdain and intolerance of Former President Khama. This is further evidenced by the fact that in the entire article, there is not a single sentence addressing His Excellency the Former President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama with his full title. We live in a democratic country and it is acceptable to differ on opinions, however we need to do it respectfully.

The role of journalists is to report news in a fair and balanced manner, and this is all we ask from our media. Furthermore the article is clearly misplaced on the front page since it is an opinion piece, therefore should have been properly placed in the opinion section.  It is very important that the press remain impartial in their reporting regardless of political persuasion. The Botswana Guardian lied about the Former President Khama, this is unprofessional and unethical.
His Excellency the Former President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama