Botswana: Ian Khama, Dealing with Arrest, Needs His Day in Courtroom

Botswana: Ian Khama, Dealing with Arrest, Needs His Day in Courtroom

Cape City — Within the newest growth arising from the fallout between Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor, a Justice of the Peace has issued a warrant for the arrest of former president Ian Khama. The warrant was issued after Khama, who left Botswana in November 2021, failed to seem in courtroom on fees together with the unlawful possession of firearms.

Khama and Masisi fell out in 2019 after Masisi, who had served as Khama’s vice-president, had succeeded him as president on the finish of his 10-year time period in 2018. Khama left the Botswana Democratic Occasion – which has dominated the nation since his father, Sir Seretse Khama, led the nation to independence in 1966 – and campaigned for the opposition within the 2019 elections.

The Botswana information web site, Mmegi On-line, reported on Friday that Khama had denied the costs in opposition to him and stated they have been “solely about one factor, and that’s to take away me from being a risk to Masisi and his re-election.”

Khama has beforehand instructed Mmegi that he would welcome it if the federal government utilized for his extradition to Botswana, “as a result of that might give me and my associates a chance to show the lies and fabrications that President… Masisi and his cronies have been embarking on in opposition to me…”

He added: “There’s a authorized course of that must be adopted which incorporates an look in a South African courtroom and that’s the reason I welcome it,” he instructed Mmegi. He’s reportedly dwelling in self-exile in South Africa.

The BDP won the 2019 polls with 64 % of the vote. African Union observers declared that the election “conformed to worldwide, continental and regional finest practices and requirements.”

On the time, the Monetary Occasions reported that Khama had instructed the newspaper that Masisi was utilizing intelligence brokers to muzzle political opponents. The Monetary Occasions famous that Khama had in flip been accused throughout his presidency of getting “an authoritarian streak”. One of many points over which the 2 leaders fell out was Masisi’s decision in 2019 to finish a ban on elephant looking which Khama had imposed in 2014.

Khama faces quite a few fees together with receiving stolen property and cash laundering. The warrant for his arrest issued on Thursday stipulated solely “illegal possession of firearms and different offences”.

After leaving Botswana in 2021, Khama told the Botswana information outlet, The Voice, that each weapon he owned – shotguns, looking rifles and handguns – was licensed by the police. He was satisfied, “one hundred pc certain”, he stated, that the 2019 elections have been rigged.

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