Kagame And Khama – Despair And Hope In Africa

By David Himbara

  • Both Paul Kagame and Ian Khama are born in the 1950s.
  • Both are military generals.
  • Both shed their military uniforms to become civilian presidents.
  • Both sought to modernize their governance systems and economies.
  • Both were said to have built the Singapore of Africa.
  • Both sought Singaporean expertise to professionalize their civil services to lead, manage, and deliver services to their populations.
  • Both had two presidential terms to serve, and handover office to someone else.
  • One changed the constitution to cling to power after his presidential terms expired in August 2017 – Kagame.
  • One handed over power as per constitution in April 2018 – Khama.
  • Kagame represents despair and hopelessness in Africa.
  • Khama represents hope in Africa.

Dear President Ian Khama. You were not perfect as a leader of Botswana. No leader or any human being ever is. But as you go into your private life, rest assured you were greatly appreciated even beyond your borders. Crucially, you did not cling to power — unlike your Rwandan counterpart.

Outside your country, you openly and frankly confronted issues concerning Africa. For example, you publicly criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for an alleged slur against African countries. You persistently rejected African dictators who overstayed in power, including your neighbor Robert Mugabe. May you live a rewarding life for what you did for your people and Africa.