AU salutes Masire, champion of Botswana and stability
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