Khama, Seretse Khama Ian

Khama, Seretse Khama Iansĕrĕt´sā kä´mä, 1953–, Botswanan political leader and military officer, president of Botswana (2008–18); eldest son of Botswana's first president, Sir Seretse Khama. Like his father, he became (1979), by virtue of birth, chief of the Ngwato. Khama graduated from Sandhurst, Britain's officer-training school, and rose through Botswana's military ranks to become army commander and lieutenant general. He entered politics in 1998 when he was elected to parliament as a member of the ruling Botswana Democratic party (BDP). Again he ascended rapidly, becoming minister of presidential affairs and public administration, vice president (1999), and party chairman (2003). When President Festus Mogae resigned in 2008, Khama succeeded to the presidency. He was elected to a full term in 2009 and reelected in 2014. His presidency was marked at times by authoritarian actions on his part. In 2018 he resigned; Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi succeeded him. In 2019, however, he broke with his successor, resigned from the BDP, and campaigned against Masisi.

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