5 times Botswana's President has shot from the hip and proven he is not your typical African leader
The United Nations ranks Botswana among Africa’s most-developed nations and its A2 credit rating is the highest in the region.
The 65-year-old former army general first served for a decade as vice president to Festus Mogae, before replacing him as president when he stepped down in April 2008.
Throughout his tenure in office, Mr. Khama has courted controversy by his style of not sugar courting issues; From Africa’s longest serving President to the leader of the free world all have not been spared his sharp tongue.
And Mr. Khama has every reason to take the moral high ground especially coming from a continent plagued by massive plunder, human rights abuses and leaders adamant to leave office in coffins rather than step down.
The United Nations ranks Botswana among Africa’s most-developed nations, while a foundation started by Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim has consistently rated it as one of the continent’s best-run.
Its A2 credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service is the highest in the region.
Here are five instances which prove indeed Mr. Khama is in a league of his own and cut from a different cloth from African leaders.
Khama vs Trump
When Trump referred to African nations as ‘shitholes’ countries, Africans leaders were angry but apart from condemning the remark they did nothing more, Botswana however went a step further it issued a statement and summoned the U.S. ambassador to Botswana to officially clarify if he included Botswana in that category.
Khama vs UN
Botswana has not shied away from the Syrian conflict like most other African states, Mr. Khama administration has been highly critical of the UN Security Council’s response to the conflict in Syria, saying it had abdicated its responsibility of restoring peace and security.
Khama vs Kabila
While most African leaders have maintained a stony silence in response to Congolese leader Joseph Kabila excesses and determination to postpone elections and extend his stay in office, Mr. Khama has not remained mum.
“Some political leaders refuse to relinquish power when their term of office expires,” it said on Twitter. “It is clear that such leaders are driven by self-interest, instead of those of the people they govern. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a case in point.” He said.
Khama vs Mugabe
In 2008, when Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was declared winner of the presidential elections that were marred by violence and intimidation, Mr. Khama refused to recognized his win, becoming the only leader of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community to do so.
Nine years later, when Mugabe was toppled as president after almost four decades in office, Mr. Khama responded bluntly on Facebook: “Better late than never.”
Khama vs Al-Bashir
While the whole continent has remained mute on Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir charges at the International Criminal Court
Mr. Khama proofed ‘the strongest man is he who stands alone’ and in 2009 broke ranks with the continent, when he said al-Bashir should be sent to ICC to face trial for his role in atrocities committed in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
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