Former Botswana’s president for burial Thursday

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Former Botswana president Ketumile Masire for burial on Thursday

The 92-year-old Former Botswana President Ketumile Masire who died on June 22, will be buried on Thursday at his home Kanye village home.

A memorial service for the leader was scheduled to take place in Gaborone on Wednesday.

President Ian Khama, his deputy Mokgweetsi Masisi and several top government officials paid their respect to Masire on Tuesday at the Botswana parliament.

Masire died in the evening last Thursday at the Bokamoso Private Hospital in Gaborone after undergoing a surgery.

The former Botswana leader is considered the main architect of what has been one of Africa’s most successful economic transitions.

He was Botswana’s first vice-president after independence in 1966 before replacing President Seretse Khama in 1980.

He served as president for 18 years until he voluntarily stepped down in 1998.

Masire was succeeded by Festus Mogae, who had been his vice-president.

He played a leading role in the independence movement and thereafter in the southern Africa country’s steady financial growth and development.

The former president had been actively involved in numerous diplomatic initiatives, leading efforts to resolve political crises in a number of African countries including Mozambique, DR Congo, Lesotho and Kenya.

He was also the chairman of the International Panel of Eminent Personalities investigating the 1994 Rwanda genocide, from 1998 to 2000.

The former president founded the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation in 2007 to promote the social and economic wellbeing of the Batswana.

Sir Ketumile was born on July 23, 1925 in the small Kanye village, southwest of Botswana’s capital, Gaborone.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991.

Former Mozambique President Armando Guebuza, former OAU Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa were already in Gaborone for the funeral.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki, Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe were also expected to attend the funeral.

Source: Africa Review


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