Masisi vows to transform Botswana economy, Khama shuns inauguration

Mokgweetsi Masisi took his second oath as the fifth president of Botswana on Friday morning.

Mokgweetsi Masisi is sworn in as the president of Botswana in Gaborone on 1 November 2019. Picture: @BWGovernment/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Former Botswana President Ian Khama has shunned the second inauguration of his successor Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Masisi took his second oath as the fifth president of Botswana on Friday morning, flanked by his wife Neo.

The inauguration in the capital Gaborone was also attended by former President Festus Mogae, Zambian President Edgar Lungu and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.

South Africa was represented by Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu.

The Botswana Democratic Party won 38 of the 57 constituencies, giving it another mandate to govern.

Masisi will lead the country for five more years.

"...and diligently discharge my duty and perform my functions in the high office as president of the Republic of Botswana."

And he’s wasted no time with his promise to transform the economy.

"As trade is the lifeblood of all nations and the global economy, the diversification of our economic base is imperative."

Unsurprisingly, Khama - who last week announced he had voted for the Botswana Patriotic Front - did not attend today’s proceedings.

This was the first time in the history of Botswana that a living former president did not attend an inauguration.

Khama, the BPF and main opposition UDC alleged grand rigging of the election.

They have 30 days from the final announcement last week to contest the outcome.