Vol No: 83,
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Blue watch

Botswana’s new President Ian Khama sworn-in
LIEUTENANT-GENERAL Ian Khama has been sworn in as the President of Botswana. Khama was sworn in by Chief Justice, Julian Nkanono a short while ago in the country’s capital, Gaborone. Khama who is 55 read a scripture from the bible before he was sworn in, in full view of the people of Botswana and outgoing president Festus Mogae. Khama is the fourth president of Botswana since the country’s independence from Britain 42 years ago. He is the son of the country’s first president Sir Seretse Khama.Botswana, which received its independence from Britain in 1966, is regarded as a beacon of stability and good governance in Africa.

Automatic succession raises concerns Political analyst at the University of Botswana, Zibani Maundeni, however says automatic succession undermines the principle of democracy. The mineral-rich nation, which is the world’s top diamond producer and famous for its sprawling wildlife reserves, has enjoyed average growth of around 8 % over the last two decades. GDP per capita is forecast at $8,453 in 2008, the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, according to global investment banking group UBS. Botswana also has the highest sovereign ratings in Africa, and is ranked the continent’s least corrupt country by Transparency International. In 1999, Mogae succeeded former President Ketumile Masire in a landslide election victory at the head of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) that has ruled the former British colony since 1966.The Batswana expect prosperity regardless of who is in charge of the southern African country of nearly 2 million. 

The ruling party, which has won every election since independence from Britain, seems assured of another victory next year, with Khama, the paramount chief of the country’s biggest tribe, the Bangwato, at its helm.The new president has the right credentials, being the first-born son of Botswana’s hugely popular founding president, Seretse Khama.A qualified pilot, who attended Sandhurst military academy, he is admired by many, but others fear his military background may bring in an authoritarian leadership style.

Credit sabcnews.com


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