Former Botswana President Ian Khama has announced the filing of a defamation complaint against a police officer who is suspected to have been involved in a massive corruption scandal that has been shaking up the country’s political life for months.
Retired since 2018, Khama, who led the country for ten years, went to war against his successor Mokgweetsi Masisi, whom he accuses of authoritarian drift.
He slammed the door of the party in power and officially joined the opposition in the general elections held in October, won by hand by Masisi.
The allegations contained in this report are false and have been deliberately and maliciously fabricated to tarnish my name
Just before the election, the court announced the opening of an investigation into embezzlement of P100 billion (EUR 8 billion) in which the name of the former head of state State has been quoted.
Mr. Khama has always fiercely denied these accusations.
During a press conference Monday, he went on the counterattack by announcing the filing of a complaint against the police officer whose report initiated the prosecution.
« The allegations contained (in this report) are false and were deliberately and maliciously fabricated to tarnish my name, » said Ian Khama, « so I asked my lawyer (…) to file a libel suit. »
The former president also announced that he has conferred on lawyer Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, an « independent investigation into the allegations contained » in the police report.
Mr. Khama has once again accused his successor’s government of being behind the « filthy accusations in the form of fabricated evidence » against him. « This regime has lost all legitimacy to govern, » he concluded.
The opposition is contesting Masisi’s victory and last month lodged an appeal for the annulment of the fraud vote.