Botswana’s third President Festus Mogae has described Sir Ketumile’s leadership as “democratic to a fault.”
Former President Mogae described Sir Ketumile Masire, Botswana’s second post-independence leader who died last week, as humble, considerate and very humorous.
“His obsession was farming and food production,” he said at a memorial service to pay tribute to the late Sir Ketumile Masire Wednesday ahead of today’s state funeral. The body of Masire lay in state at parliament on Tuesday.
Earlier, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi paid official tribute to the late statesman saying during his many interactions with Sir Ketumile, it became evidently clear that RaGaone was an independent thinker.
He said Sir Ketumile played a pivotal role in the development on the country. He will be laid to rest in his home village in Kanye. (SEE LIVE TWITTER FEED bottom, and YOUTUBE FEED page 2)
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and former South African president Thabo Mbeki are expected to attend. US President Donald Trump sent a condolence message.
“He leaves behind a solid foundation of Botswana’s sustainable economy. We will indeed miss RaGaone’s hearty signature laughter. He had a good reputation as a mediator within the region,” Masisi said.
“His principles of peace resolution and respect for human rights will forever remain rooted in our lives as Batswana. As Batswana, we are extremely blessed to have had a leader of his repute. He worked with Sir Seretse to lay a firm foundation for Botswana. We remain eternally grateful for this. Tsamaya sentle Mmina Phiri. May your soul rest in peace.”