World / Africa & Diaspora
Friday, 23 Jun 2017 14:03 EATakipchumba@kenyafreepress.com
The former Botswana President who brokered a truce between the Mozambique’s government and the main opposition Renamo party in his pivotal role as the co-chair of an international group of mediators – has gone passed away at the age of ninety one, according to Agence France Presse.
President Ketumile Masire whose place in the hall of fame in the African continent and even beyond the shores is assured, led Botswana following President Seretse Khama’s death in the year 1980. Mr Masire became his county’s Chief Executive Officer until his voluntary retirement in 1998 – having satisfactorily overseen a period of an unprecedented economic growth.
According to his senior private secretary Mr Fraser TIhoiwe, as reported by Agence France Presse, the ex-president passed on in a hospital in Gaborone late on Thursday.
“He died peacefully at Bokamoso private hospital surrounded by his family at 10:10 pm on 22nd, June 23, 2017. We thank well-wishers and friends from near and far, for their prayers, thoughts and comforting messages of support during this difficult times,” said Mr Fraser in a statement.
The late Ketumile Masire is credited with being the architect of Botswana’s stability. He led mediation efforts towards ending violence in the then war torn Mozambique.
It is also worth noting that the former Botswana President playeda prominent role in resolving the political crisis in Kenya and Lesotho after leaving office in his role as one of the Africa’s most respected elder statesman.
He chaired the International Panel of Eminent Personalities tasked to look into the 1994 Rwanda genocide. It should be noted that Botswana has enjoyed stable civilian rule since its indipendence from Britain in 1966.
Fare thee well Mr Ketumile Masire.
Kipchumba is a staff writer/columnist at the Kenya Free Press