Botswana denies Khama is threatened by its government

By Laureen Fagan - 29 March 2023 at 10:58 pm
Botswana denies Khama is threatened by its government

Officials in Botswana have denied allegations of a plot to harm or kill former president Ian Khama, the latest in a series of claims and disputes that date back to 2018 and the rise of current President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

“There is no threat by the state on Dr. Khama’s life,” said the statement from Botswana. It continued by urging Khama to seek relief in the courts if he has any legitimate claim against “a democratically governed nation-state that keenly respects and observes the rule of law.”

Khama, living in South Africa, says he needs to return to Botswana for the 2024 election cycle to help oust Masisi, who at one time was his hand-picked successor in a relationship that unraveled at the end of Khama’s second term. The division caused a split in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

But Khama also claims his own safety and freedom are at risk, and that he faces arrest or worse if he returns to Botswana. An arrest warrant for Khama was issued in December for illegal firearms charges, but Botswana also claims he is guilty of money laundering.

Leaders in Botswana dismissed the reports about Khama, saying they are nothing new.

“President Khama must be made aware that he cannot continue to play victim on different media platforms and accuse government of all sorts of things or ills that are unfounded,” the government statement said.

Image: Ian Khama

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at

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