The former President Sir Ketumile Masire remains in Intensive Care Unit at Bokamoso Private Hospital days after he underwent a surgery. Though his operation was said to have been successful, anxiety is building around his health following the cancellation of all events that he was to feature in this coming weekend. Sir Ketumile’s daughter Matshediso Masire said in a statement that: “The Board of Trustees of the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation and the Masire family wish to inform all friends and supporters of the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation of their decision to postpone the 2017 Annual Fundraising Gala Dinner and the 5th Annual Youth Lecture scheduled for the 24th and 25th of June due to his hospitalisation. We wish to express our gratitude to the public and well-wishers for their continued prayers and support for our father.”
Sir Ketumile is the co-founder of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) which he together with the country’s founding president Sir Seretse Khama guided to elections victory in 1965. He succeeded Seretse in 1980 and ruled until 1998 when he left power voluntarily paving the way for Festus Mogae. Masire is credited with having led the country at the most difficult time first as Vice President and Minister of Finance and later as President, taking the country from the poorest in the continent to the fastest developing while at the same time facing off with a hostile Apartheid regime in the neighbouring South Africa. He is Botswana’s longest serving President by far and is credited with the introduction of two-term (five years each) presidential terms and automatic succession by the Vice President on the retirement of the President.