President Ian Khama has taken yet another swipe at some African Heads of State who refuse to relinquish power once their constitutional terms of office come to an end.
Bidding residents of the City of Francistown farewell on Friday at the Old Stadium, Khama expressed concern about some of his peers on the continent who are in the habit of amending their countries’ constitutions to prolong their stay in office.
Two African Heads of State, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are currently some of the culprits.
“Such leaders normally amend the constitution for their own selfish reasons, without having the interest of their nations at heart,” Khama noted.
DRC in Central Africa was supposed to go to the polls in 2016 but Kabila postponed the elections claiming that his government was ill prepared and lacked the funds to carry out general elections.
Without naming names, Khama stated: “Another President in Africa has recently amended the constitution to eliminate the age limit for presidential candidates. Their constitution indicate that one can be a president until they reach the age of 75,so now he is around 72 years and he does not want to relinquish power.”
Khama insinuated that such leaders are thugs and are self-serving.
“Citizens of such countries are suffering at the hands of their leaders because they are not concerned about their welfare,” Khama averred.
He noted that Botswana respects the rule of law and the constitution.
He added that the constitution clearly stipulates that, “each president shall serve two terms and step down to make way for a new leader.”
On the 31st of March this year Khama will step down from the presidency, paving way for his successor, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
He pleaded with Batswana to support the incoming President Masisi so that he can perform his duties diligently.
Khama also promised to carry on with charity work to assist the less privileged of his countrymen.
During his presidency, Khama came up with an initiative dubbed the Presidential Housing Appeal in which the less privileged Batswana were built houses through the assistance of the private sector and entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, Khama revealed that cabinet will meet in February to make a decision about the cash strapped Botswana Meat Commission.
Cabinet is expected to make a decision that will attempt to turn around the fortunes of the ailing commission.
In the past, government contemplated privatizing BMC as it is running at a loss. Farmers are reluctant to sell their cattle to the commission due to low prices offered and delayed payments.