NEWS

Former Botswana President Sir Ketumile Masire Dies At 91

Though his operation was said to have been successful, he died just days later.

23/06/2017 09:45 SAST | Updated 23/06/2017 09:45 SAST
Botswana Government

Sir Ketumile Masire, who was Botswana's second president, has died aged 91. He was hospitalised in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit at Bokomoso Hospital in Gabarone since June 18, reported The Independent on Friday.

The Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation (SKMF) board of trustees released a statement on Thursday night with the news.

Born Quett Ketumile Joni Masire on July 23, 1925 in Kanye, Botswana, Masire was the second president of Botswana representing the Botswana Democratic Party, and was in power from 1980 to 1998.

The former president was in the intensive care unit at Bokamoso Private Hospital days after he underwent a surgery. Though his operation was said to have been successful, he died days later, The Independent reported.

He was Botswana's longest serving president, and was credited with introducing Botswana's two-term limit on ruling presidents and the automatic succession by the vice-president on the retirement of the sitting head of state.

According to The Independent, Masire was a leading figure in the independence movement and then the new government, and played a crucial role in facilitating and protecting Botswana's steady financial growth and development.

Since his retirement in 1998, Masire was reportedly involved in numerous diplomatic initiatives in a number of African countries.

He was chairperson of the International Panel of Eminent Personalities Investigating the Circumstances Surrounding the 1994 Rwanda Genocide between 1998 and 2000, and from 2000 to 2003 was the facilitator for the Inter-Congolese National Dialogue.