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Sir Quett Ketumile Masire: Botswana’s second president and nation builder dies

Botswana lost its former president Sir Quett Ketumile Joni Masire yesterday. Sir Ketumile Masire was Botswana’s second president and is credited for leading Botswana towards economic stability. He voluntarily stepped down in 1998 and went on to engage in diplomatic initiatives. Condolences for the statesman are pouring in, remembering his good governance and exemplary leadership. Rest In Power Sir QKJ Masire.



Sir Quett

Botswana’s second president, Sir Quett Ketumile Joni Masire passed away yesterday. The former president of the southern African country had been in critical condition since the 18th of June. Sir Masire was 91 years old and was surrounded by his family at the time of his death at the Bokamoso Private Hospital around 2210hours.

Sir Masire’s health had deteriorated in the past few weeks, and he had to cancel all the events he was to attend, including the 2017 Annual Fundraising Gala and the 5th Annual Youth Lecture that was scheduled for the 24th and 25th of June.

President Ian Khama sent a condolence message on the passing of Sir Masire. The message from President Khama reads: “It is my sad duty to formally inform the nation of the passing on of our Former President Sir Ketumile Masire”.

“In remembrance of Sir Ketumile we shall as of today, Friday the 23rd June 2017, begin a three day period of mourning, which shall run through to Sunday the 25th of June 2017, during which flags shall fly at half mast, as they will also do on the day of the funeral”.


“In this time of reflection, members of the public may continue to engage in public and private activities, but in so doing are reminded to be mindful of the need to display behaviour that shows appropriate respect for the occasion,” the statement from President Khama says.

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Sir Masire, who was the second president of Botswana, took over the presidency following the death of Sir Seretse Khama, the father of Botswana’s current president. On 18 July 1980, five days after the death of Sir Khama, Sir Masire was elected president by secret ballot at the National Assembly.



During Sir Masire’s presidency Botswana witnessed rapid economic and infrastructural growth making it a major economic power house in Africa. Not many African countries are fortunate to have a leader that would take them from the state of poverty to steady economic growth and social development. Botswana is one lucky country to have experienced the leadership of Sir Masire who took the country from being one of the most poor in the continent to a social and economic stability. Sir Masire whose exemplary leadership skills benefitted the growth of the economy, and his leadership is proof that one of the core issues in Africa is leadership.

Sir Masire’s role in Botswana’s politics dates back to the country’s independence struggle where he co-founded the Botswana Democratic Party (B.D.P) alongside Sir Khama. He served as vice president and minister of finance and eventually became Botswana’s longest serving president before introducing two terms of 5 years each.

Popularly known as QKJ, Sir Masire left office voluntarily in 1998. Botswana is one of the few countries in Africa not to experience military rule. Its democracy is considered a model to be followed in Africa.


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After his retirement, Sir Masire founded the Sir Ketumile Masire Foundation in 2007 to promote the social and economic well-being of Botswana. His diplomatic role in various African countries also kept him busy after retirement.

Many Batswana poured out their condolences, thanking him for his good leadership and for building the nation.