GAborone, Jan. 2 (AP) — Botswana has issued an arrest warrant for former President Ian Kama on charges of illegal possession of firearms.
Kama, who currently lives in neighboring South Africa, denies the allegations, his lawyer said.
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The former president was formally indicted last April but has yet to appear in court. A Botswana court issued a warrant for Khama’s arrest on December 29.
Kama has been in South Africa for about a year after falling out with his hand-picked successor, President Mokwezi Masisi.
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Kama, 69, who served as Botswana’s president from 2008 to 2018, said he was being hunted for his opposition to Masisi.
“There was no crime. I did nothing wrong,” Kama told South African national broadcaster SABC.
He said the arrest warrant was part of Masisi’s campaign to persecute him as Botswana’s 2024 general election loomed.
Khama told VOA: “I have been and will continue to be targeted more and more in this way because I remain the most vocal voice to denounce and expose Masisi’s incompetence and failure.”
Botswana has not asked South Africa to extradite Khama.
Kama is the son of Seretse Kama, Botswana’s first president and the fourth president of the southern African country. After serving as commander of the Botswana Defense Forces, Kama served as vice president from 1998 to 2008 and then became president after retiring from Festus Mogae.
Khama was re-elected in the 2009 election and won again in 2014, leaving office after completing a two-year, five-year term.
Kama quit the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in 2019 and is now a supporter of the split Botswana Patriotic Front. (Associated Press)
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