An arrest warrant has been issued in Botswana for former President Ian Khama on a charge of illegal possession of firearms.
Khama, currently residing in neighboring South Africa, denies the charge, his lawyer said.
The former president was formally charged in April last year but has not yet appeared in court.
A Botswana court issued the warrant for Khama’s arrest on Thursday.
The 69-year-old Khama, who was president of Botswana between 2008 and 2018, has been in South Africa for about a year after falling out with his hand-picked successor, President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
He said he is being hounded now for his opposition to Masisi.
“There’s been no crime. I have done nothing wrong,” Khama told South Africa’s state broadcaster, SABC.
— Sophie Mokoena (@Sophie_Mokoena) December 30, 2022
He said the warrant is part of Masisi’s campaign to persecute him as Botswana approaches general elections in 2024.
“I have been and I will continue being more and more targeted in this manner because I remain the most constant voice condemning and exposing Masisi for the incompetent failure that he is,” Khama told the Voice of America.
A warrant of arrest has been issued against former Botswana President, Ian Khama.
14 criminal charges ranging from unlawful possession of a firearm to receiving stolen property have been leveled against Khama.
He has been in a war of words with current president, Mr Masisi. pic.twitter.com/XMUGeiqo74
— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) December 29, 2022
Botswana has not yet asked South Africa to extradite Khama.
Khama, the son of Botswana’s first president, Seretse Khama, was the fourth president of the southern African country.
After serving as commander of the Botswana Defence Force, Khama was vice president from 1998 to 2008 and then became president when Festus Mogae retired.
Khama was re-elected in the 2009 elections and won re-election again in 2014, leaving office after completing two five-year terms.
He quit the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in 2019 and is now patron of the splinter Botswana Patriotic Front.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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