“Also, I respect the cabinet oath that I took which upholds confidentiality of the undertakings of cabinet which clearly Sadique does not either understand or couldn’t care less about what it meant to him to take an oath of cabinet. What perturbs me is the fact that he is taking situational truths and changing them into blatant lies in order to tarnish people’s names and all these in his endeavour to seek political relevance.”
In an exclusive interview with this publication advocate and former cabinet minister and Member of
Parliament for Lobatse constituency, Sadique Kebonang, promises an “explosive” tell-all book about his
political life experience as a BDP member and member of the Executive.
Kebonang’s book ‘My life in politics and four President’ has been a subject of controversy, fascination
and intrigue since its extracts were published in a local publication last month. According to Kebonang,
the book which took him three months to write during last year’s lockdowns will be on the shelves
December this year. The book is going be published at South Africa.
Writing about controversial issues- putting up names of renowned political heavyweights including the
current president and his predecessor and revealing deep political secrets like confidential cabinet
meetings-could not anyhow miss backlash. But Kebonang in an interview with Global Post was
unperturbed and unfazed as to who would be chagrined by his book.
“Everything I wrote or expressed is correct and truthful. I was just recording personal experience and
history as it is. It was never intended to be an attack on anybody but a recollection of events that are
historical to understand what is happening today,”Kebonang told Global Post.
Of the excerpts that were made public last month there was one part which Kebonang wrote a detailed
account of how President Mokweetsi Masisi’s ascendancy to Number One position was met with envy
and outward objection, leading to an attempted ‘coup’ even before he could sit on the high chair.
A much talked about cabinet retreat which later became a matter of intrigue in the media, but was a
secret for many outsiders though much anticipated by cabinet members of that time; February 2016
was a decisive time time of heralding a vice president and someone who would eventually take over
from Ian Khama. Leading to the February 2016 cabinet retreat, many names were mentioned in flying
rumours at that time as to who is in close proximity to be the next VP.
In Kebonang’s account, which is presumed to be very proximal to Executive decision making at that
time, lends credence to many reports that Masisi was the least popular to be VP then. According to
Kebonang’s book, during the decisive cabinet retreat, Khama rode against the opposition of top party
caucus and shoved in his choice of VP, Masisi.
But at the time of the decisive moments and afterwards, the personalities who were against Masisi’s
ascension were not much discussed, not at least in the media. But Kebonang, who revealed that the
whole of Khama’s cabinet that time, even him, harboured presidential ambitions. In his memoir
Kebonang attempts to ‘unmask’ all those who were against Masisi being president.
“Vincent Seretse was the first to speak. He was very brave. In his short but brutal message, he did not
have confidence in the VP(Masisi) to lead the BDP. (Biggie) Butale was more dramatic; he said he would
never serve under Masisi. Minister Tshekedi Khama and (Dorcus) Makgato went straight for the jugular.
(Thapelo) Olopeng sat on the fence,” said an excerpt from ‘My life in politics and four President.’
This publication attempted to engage the names which were mentioned on Kebonang’s book, especially
with regard to allegations of them having attempted ‘a coup.’ Most of them were either non-committal
or not available for response. But Makgato who currently serves as Botswana’s High Commissioner –
designate to the Commonwealth of Australia did offer us a comment, despite initially not wanting to
give too much attention to the book or Kebonang.
“I really do not have time for silliness and ditlontlokwane. I have been given a mandate to come and
represent Botswana where I am right now and I am expected to deliver so I don’t have time for this in
the first instance. Also, I respect the cabinet oath that I took which upholds confidentiality of the
undertakings of cabinet which clearly Sadique does not either understand or couldn’t care less about
what it meant to him to take an oath of cabinet. What perturbs me is the fact that he is taking
situational truths and changing them into blatant lies in order to tarnish people’s names and all these in
his endeavour to seek political relevance,” said Makgato in an exclusive interview from Australia.
In the divisive 2019 general elections, where president Khama broke ranks with the ruling party and
formed his own party, Makgato was vocal that she does not support Khama while defending Masisi. This
was followed by a vow by Khama to decampaign Makgato who later lost her constituency to opposition
member. Makgato put up a spirited fight against Khama despite the latter being a darling at the central
district region which helped his new party BPF to gain instant relevance. This could have been the
reason why Masisi rewarded her loyalty and made her a diplomat, according to observers.
Going for a swing when referring to Makgato and others, Kebonang had this to say: “The same coup
planners would later jump to serve under Masisi. Their feelings and their earlier rejection of him
conveniently forgotten for power. Others sought to disassociate themselves from the man who made
them, for continued privileges of public office.”
Former cabinet minister and ambassador for Botswana to the United States Kitso Mokaila laughed off at
his mentioning in Kebonang’s book. When asked what he thinks of Kebonang’s intentions on the book,
Mokaila said he has no idea what the former cabinet minister is up to.
“We are all reading what he is writing, wondering his end game is,” said former minister who is among
those mentioned in the book as “coup planners,” Vincent Seretse.
Makgato told this publication that she is waiting for the book, to look at it with her lawyers, and then
take it from there. In an interview, Kebonang was unfazed at any possible litigation countering the book.
This publication understands that many especially senior member of the BDP are waiting for the book
with anticipation while the public is also intrigued.
Cabinet black sheep Slumbisto becomes a surprise VP
According to Kebonang, after surviving a coup few years ago, when it was time to vote his own VP,
chose the less likely, Tsogwane, according to many in cabinet. Kebonang alleges it him, Khama and
Tsogwane who stood with Masisi in the 2016 ‘coup,’ so it was time for a reward for Slumbisto as the VP
is affectionally called.
Kebonang’s writing is not anyhow missing with satire as he recalled how Tsogwane who was the stone
that the builders rejected became an executive cornerstone. He spoke how Slumbisto used to be viewed
with derision by peers, “In fact, truth be said, the other senior Ministers did not think much of him and
often made fun of his difficulty with the Queen’s language.
….A teacher by profession, I suspect English was probably his fourth language. He was not very eloquent.
He was never seen as a threat,” he wrote.
Kebonang’s life at Government Enclave was graced with having the youngest, unbelievably beautiful in
his words and confident specially elected MP who would later became a minister. Bogolo Kenewendo
had to drop her top job in West Africa, Ghana, to come and serve politics at a higher level. She was later
nicknamed “Honourable Bae” by social media dwellers for her beauty and captivation. She wore either a
lighting smile and confidence during parliamentary proceedings, Kebonang was also among the men
As it was reported in gossip circles whose smoke came from The Parliamentary Village, Kenewendo
being young, oozing charisma and brilliant captivated the desires of almost the entire cabinet, and this
affection is said to have extended to the opposition front.
“I don’t have any comments on his book. I am also not aware of the book as I am out of the country,”