28 May 2019

Botswana: Former Botswana President Ian Khama Quits Ruling Party

Photo: /Paulo Filgueiras/UN
President Ian Khama of Botswana.

Botswana's former president Ian Khama has left  the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) which has ruled since independence, citing a fall-out between him and his successor, AFP reports.

AFP reports that Khama told thousands of supporters in his home town of Serowe that he made a "mistake" in choosing Mokgweetsi Masisi as his successor.

In March Khama revealed in an interview with the South African Sunday newspaper that the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community and President of Namibia Hage Geingob intervened and met with him over the widely publicised running feud with his successor President Masisi.

The fallout is alleged to have caused factions, also affecting the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services office.

Masisi's decision to lift the suspension on elephant hunting imposed by Khama's government in 2014 seems to have been the last straw for Khama.

"I came here today to tell you I am parting ways with the BDP. I am throwing away my BDP membership card. I don't recognise the BDP anymore", said Khama as he trashed his card.

Khama relinquished his position, as the president of Botswana, in April 2018 after serving the maximum 10 years in office, to pave way for his former deputy, now President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Khama has said he did not have a party yet but will support the opposition parties fighting his former party BDP.

Masisi will contest his first election in October this year.


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