Botswana leader takes over SADC chair


President Robert Mugabe, left, Lesotho PM Tom Thabane and Botswana President Ian Khama stop for a group photo in 2014 at the International Relationship Ministry in Pretoria. Picture: Gianluigi Guercia

GABORONE – Botswana President Ian Khama on Monday accepted the chairmanship of Southern African Development Community (SADC) from his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe in the Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone.

Mugabe handed over the SADC Chairperson’s badge to Khama during SADC’s annual Heads of State and Government Summit being held in Gaborone.

The latter was re-elected as the president of Botswana last October after his party – the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) – won majority of the parliament seats in the country’s 11th general elections.

Born in 1953, Ian Khama is the elder son of Botswana’s founding president Seretse Khama.

He succeeded Festus Mogae as president in 2008 after the latter’s retirement.

He was elected as president for the first time in the following year.

The SADC chairmanship rotates among the heads of the states of the 15 member states, namely Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Xinhua