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BNF Statement On The Passing Of Sir Ketumile

The Botswana National Front (BNF) joins the nation and the people of the world in mourning the passing on of the second and longest serving President of the Republic of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire.

We send our heartfelt condolences to his family. Sir Masire was a founding parent of Botswana along with Seretse Khama, Philip Matante, Bathoen Gaseitsewe, Gaositwe Chiepe, Kenneth Nkhwa and many others. 

He was in the African Advisory Council and the Legislative Council of pre-independence era that contributed in the independent Botswana. He respected and never abused the same Constitution used today that his party introduced at Independence in 1966.

We remember with fondness his illustrious career, which among others included his role as a teacher, journalist, farmer, politician, international diplomat and elder statesman. 

His legacy includes turning around Botswana’s low and poverty status into a middle-high income economy. He was dexterous in managing this country when he was President, including the introduction of socio-economic policies and plans that were sound and well-prioritised.

These gave birth to the relatively impressive infrastructural development of schools, roads and health facilities.

Masire’s proud legacy includes tolerance of divergent views; uniting Botswana nation; founding Seepapitso Secondary School in Kanye; his formation of Front Line States and SADCC; his wise leadership of this country at the most

explosive time in the region and his inclusion, albeit in a small way, of the opposition through the multi-party forum - the All Party Conference.

He also played an important international role as facilitator of peace in the DRC, Ethiopia and Lesotho. 

In few words, here lies a man who established a new government, effectively ran a government to prosperity and ultimately peacefully transferred power to another statesman.

Whilst we have differed with his political orientation and the hegemony of his party the Botswana Democratic Party, we nevertheless recogniSe that he was a man of integrity who did his best to maintain the semblance of peace that existed under his leadership of this country. 

He and his immediate successor acceded to several BNF proposals like reduction of voting age; introduction of old age pension; introduction of women in the army, to mention a few.

We regret that the gains that this country made under him have been grossly corroded under the current leadership. 

May his soul rest in peace!  A true and genuine nationalist!

Justin Hunyepa

BNF Secretary for Information and Publicity

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