Public express mixed feelings over re-sale of gifts
Former President, Ian Khama received an unprecedented number of gifts when he left the presidency at the end of his term in April.
This week, Khama announced that he was going to auction some of the 800 cattle he was gifted with.
During an interview with his Private Secretary, Brigadier George Tlhalerwa, Khama confirmed that it was true that some cattle, chickens and goats were on sale to the highest bidders.
“He was given a lot of livestock and the numbers exceeded the carrying capacity of his farm. Out of the 800 cattle given, close to 500 will be sold to create space for the remaining.
Tlhalerwa further explained that from the proceeds of the auction, Khama’s two farms would be developed, and some of the money will be used to drill boreholes, take care of the herdsmen and help with the upkeep of the livestock.
Voice reporters, Otsile Kasale and Thuto Motsamai went on the streets of Gaborone to find out people’s reactions to the former president’s decision to sell gifts to raise money.
Elvis Billy (38) from Maitengwe
He was a good president and is still a good person but only rich people are going to afford to buy those cattle. As for us, we are poor and can’t afford them. He should donate some.
Kamogelo Matebu (25) from Maitengwe
The president is doing a great thing. Maybe he will sell them at a cheap price for the youth to afford.
He might also change his mind and give the money raised from the sale of the cattle to the community.
We all know that he loves people and that he always gives to the community.
Nnete Mokgotlhe (20) from Metlobo
There is no problem with him selling the cattle because they are his personal gifts, but then again he should sympathize with us.
He should give some to us since he is a giver.
Jane Modibetsane (58) Tonota
The gifts were out of love, they now belong to him.
We can’t dictate on how he should use his gifts.
It’s his decision to make and we respect that.
There were however many other people who were against the former president’s decision but were afraid to speak on record and on camera for what they said were, “ security reasons’
Many who said selling gifts was “not cultural” expressed fears that criticizing Khama openly would possibly lead to their “disappearance”.
“It would have been more honourable for the man to donate the cattle to various Kgotlas for redistribution to the poor,” said one taxi man who begged for his name not to be mentioned.