AU salutes Masire, cham­pion of Botswana and sta­bil­ity

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

omies since the 1970s and has re­mained po­lit­i­cally sta­ble on a con­ti­nent plagued by vi­o­lence and cor­rup­tion.

Masire is re­garded as hav­ing played a key role in es­tab­lish­ing Botswana as a sta­ble democ­racy.

In a state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day, the chair­per­son of the African Union Commission, H. E. Moussa Faki Ma­hamat, noted the role that Masire had played in fa­cil­i­tat­ing Botswana’s in­de­pen­dence, through the Botswana Demo­cratic Party (BDP) and that he had vol­un­tar­ily stepped down from the pres­i­dency.

“A true Pan-African­ist, Dr Masire made in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tions in seek­ing peace­ful so­lu­tions to chal­lenges in African coun­tries such as in South Africa, Mozam­bique, Namibia, Zim­babwe, An­gola, Ethiopia, So­ma­lia, Le­sotho, the DRC, to name but a few,” the state­ment said.

It noted Masire’s role as chair­man of the In­ter­na­tional Panel of Em­i­nent Per­sonal- ities In­ves­ti­gat­ing the Cir­cum­stances Sur­round­ing the 1994 Rwanda Geno­cide from 1998 to 2000 and as the fa­cil­i­ta­tor for the In­ter-Con­golese Na­tional Di­a­logue.

Masire set up the Sir Ke­tu­mile Masire Foun­da­tion, aimed at pro­mot­ing so­cial and eco­nomic well- being of the Batswana.

He was also a found­ing Mem­ber of the Global Lead­er­ship Foun­da­tion, which works to sup­port demo­cratic lead­er­ship, pre­vent and re­solve con- flict through me­di­a­tion and pro­mote good gov­er­nance in the form of demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions, open mar­kets, hu­man rights and the rule of law.

Masire had been in a Gaborone hospi­tal since last Friday and “died peace­fully on Thursday at Bokamoso Pri­vate Hospi­tal sur­rounded by his fam­ily,” sec­re­tary Fraser Tl­hoiwe said. – Reuters and Weekend Ar­gus Re­porter

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