At a farewell ceremony organised for him by CEDA and other parastatals last Friday at the Gaborone International Convention Center, Khama spoke of himself as an accomplished moroka. While many could not figure out whether he meant it for real that he has rain-making abilities or he was speaking in jest about matters of precipitation, it all went well for a president on a roll
President Ian Khama has stated that he will not be going to banks to ask for loans after retirement because Batswana have covered his financial needs in advance.
Khama was referring to the gifts that he has been swamped with by Batswana throughout the country.
He was speaking at a farewell ceremony organised for him by the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and other parastatals and state-owned enterprises on Friday.
He will step down as president on March 31.
At the farewell ceremony, he said he had observed that many Batswana wanted him to go into farming upon his retirement.
He had been talking to people in the farming business and was advised that the first thing he would need to do was get funding for the necessary machinery.
Very clearly, Khama emphasised, Batswana wanted him to go into farming.
“Most of you have heard or followed the other gifts that have been generously and kindly given to me as I toured the country … it’s obvious to me that Batswana currently want me to spend a lot of my time after the 1st of April farming,” he noted.
“I have already been talking to a few people who are farmers about what is involved, and one of those things they have said is the first thing you have to go to (a) bank and borrow money and set up all the logistics that are required around farming.”
And then the clincher: “But with the kinds of gifts that you and others have been giving me in recent weeks, I can see the loan amount shrinking (and) fortunately I won’t be having to go to the bank.”
Elaborating on the kinds of institutions he would otherwise have had to borrow money from but for his windfall from Batswana, Khama stated: “So I won’t be going to the NDB (National Development Bank), I won’t be going to CEDA, hopefully, or to the Bank of Botswana to borrow money for my farming enterprises.”
Khama also shed some light on his rainmaking abilities and why he had refused to pray for rain at the Kgotla in Mochudi nearly a fortnight ago as he had successfully done in 2016.
He explained that he turned down the request of a farmers’ representative in Mochudi necause unlike the previous time, he had not felt inspired to pray for rain when he awoke that morning.
“On that day when I prayed for rain, it just happened that that morning I woke up and I had this sense that I should make a prayer for rain as it was our 50th anniversary,” the President said. “I didn’t expect that I was going to be asked to pray for rain in Mochudi.”
He disclosed that he had kept the rainmaking prayer in handwritten form for doubting the Thomases. “My Senior Private Secretary here Brigadier (George) Tlhalerwa showed me the prayer because I wrote it in my own hand,” Khama said.
“It wasn’t originally part of the speech, (and) it wasn’t drafted for me by any bishop or priest. It was just something that came from myself and I have kept it in case anyone doubts that I was able to pray for rain.”