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Ian Khama Avoids His Father's Commemoration In Botswana Over Safety Concerns

10 months agoSun, 02 Jul 2023 15:26:58 GMT
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Ian Khama Avoids His Father's Commemoration In Botswana Over Safety Concerns

Self-exiled former Botswana president Seretse Khama Ian Khama did not travel home for the annual Sir Seretse Khama Day commemoration on Saturday, citing fears for his safety.

Sir Seretse Khama Day is a public holiday annually observed on July 1 in Botswana to commemorate the first President of Botswana on the anniversary of his birth date in 1921.

Seretse Khama was the heir and grandson of King Khama III and the father of Ian Khama.

Khama fled Botswana in November 2021, claiming his life was in danger, and has been living in exile in South Africa ever since.

In a statement released on Saturday, Khama said he had decided not to attend the commemoration because he feared for his safety. He said:

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I was informed by very reliable sources here in South Africa that there was a DIS-authorised plan to carry out a “hit on me” on my way to the border, and if that plan was abandoned due to high risk, then to carry out something similar at the border when I arrived and to stage a scuffle in which a fatal accident would occur against my person.

The Botswana government has, however, denied that it is planning to assassinate Khama.

01 July has traditionally been a public holiday for the longest time in Botswana but in 2020, President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi decided to elevate Sir Seretse Khama Day with a befitting honour.

However, his predecessor and Seretse Khama’s son accused him of “milking the name and legacy” of his father. Said Khama:

And today, the 1st of July, after an unprecedented build-up to the day through government statements and media, there will be insincere tributes paid by Masisi to Sir Seretse, milking his name and legacy in the hope of reaping some benefit from someone he does not actually respect.

And at the same time, whilst doing so, engages in the persecution of Sir Seretse’s family and engages in blatant hypocrisy by trying to prevent similar commemoration activities in Serowe, my father’s home.

Seretse Khama became the first President of Botswana after it gained independence from Britain in 1966.

He is credited with helping to transform Botswana from one of the poorest countries in Africa to one of the most prosperous.

More: Pindula News

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