Pres­i­dent in Gaborone for Masire burial

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Levi Mukarati in GABORONE, Botswana

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe will to­day join other lead­ers here for the burial of former Botswana Pres­i­dent Sir Ke­tu­mile Masire at his birth­place in Khanye, south­west of Gaborone.

Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko is Act­ing Pres­i­dent.

Sir Ke­tu­mile, who was Botswana’s sec­ond post-in­de­pen­dence pres­i­dent from 1980 to 1989, died in hospi­tal in Gaborone last week. He was 91. Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe landed at the Sir Seretse Khama Air­port in Gaborone last night, where he was re­ceived by Botswana’s Min­is­ter of In­vest­ment, Trade and In­dus­try Vin­cent Seretse and of­fi­cials from the Zim­bab­wean em­bassy. Botswana de­clared three days of na­tional mourn­ing fol­low­ing the death of Sir Ke­tu­mile.

The former Pres­i­dent played a lead­ing role in South­ern Africa, es­pe­cially in peace ini­tia­tives to end Mozam­bique’s long civil war pit­ting Re­n­amo rebels against the govern­ment .

He also me­di­ated the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis that hit Kenya, Swazi­land and the DRC.

A re­spected states­man, Sir Ke­tu­mile was also chair­per­son of the In­ter­na­tional Panel or Em­i­nent Per­son­al­i­ties which in­ves­ti­gated the 1994 Rwan­dan geno­cide.

An­nounc­ing the death of the former Pres­i­dent, his pri­vate sec­re­tary, Fraser Tl­hoiwe, said Sir Ke­tu­mile “died peace­fully at Bakamoso pri­vate hospi­tal sur­rounded by his fam­ily at 10:10pm on June 22, 2017.”

He had been hos­pi­talised for surgery on June 16 and was thought to be sta­ble.

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