Has Botswana congratulated him?
It was not immediately clear on Friday afternoon that Botswana had finally joined the rest of the world in congratulating President Donald Trump in becoming the 45th president of the USA. Botswana has been slow in celebrating Trump’s win because President Ian Khama had misgivings about his divisive tendencies. Presidential spokesman, Jeff Ramsay, however said Botswana only sent the message on Friday, the day of his inauguration.“According to my understanding the congratulatory message was prepared and sent today. We wanted it to coincide with the inauguration,” said government spokesperson Dr Jeff Ramsay.This, he said, is because Botswana ‘follows a different protocol’ and does not necessarily have to succumb to pressure to do as other countries are doing. He also explained that as far as they are concerned there is nothing wrong with how they have conducted the whole exercise.According to Dr Ramsay, contrary to reports that President Ian Khama holds the US President in disdain, this was nowhere near the truth.“The president and Botswana has nothing against Donald Trump and will in fact continue with the friendship and cooperation which the two countries have enjoyed for more than 50 years,” he said.Botswana ‘s late response, however, left tongues wagging especially that world leaders the world over wasted no time in congratulating Trump after he was officially elected the 45th of the United States of America. Reports indicate that Russian president Vladimir Putin was among the first to send his felicitations. The Indian Prime minister also used twitter to send his congratulations. African leaders were not left out with a number of them officially sending the message via their official twitter handles. President Khama had been quoted several times in the media making disparaging remarks about Trump. Khama was quoted last year indirectly taking a jab at Trump on his (Khama) Facebook page, by saying that: “It is also my hope that the United States of America will, under new leadership, continue to engage with the international community in the spirit of partnership and solidarity and be all embracing and tolerant of different cultures, religions and race. I state this because, some of the utterances that have come out during the recent presidential debates are a source of concern for me, as some of these values and principles would be under threat in the event those responsible for them were to assume the Presidency,” read a post on his page.Meanwhile as it is norm, the United States Embassy in Gaborone hosted dignitaries from across sectors to witness the inauguration of its president, Donald Trump at the ambassador’s residential place in Gaborone on Friday. Efforts to reach them to confirm Dr Ramsey’s claims that the congratulatory message has indeed been sent proved futile.