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File photo / Former Botswana president and Mozambique peace mediator Sir Ketumile Masire
President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique has sent a message of condolences to the people of Botswana following the death of Ketumile Masire, former president of that country
“In the name of the people, the government of Mozambique and myself, I convey through your excellency to the people of Botswana and to the bereaved family our deepest condolences,” Nyusi said in a statement quoted by AIM.
According to Nyusi, the death of President Masire at the Intensive Care Unit at the Bakamoso Hospital in Gaberone is an irreparable loss not only to his Tswanese family and people, but also to the Mozambican people and the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as to African peace-loving peoples all over the world.
President Masire was a true friend of Mozambique and his role in deepening relations of friendship, solidarity and bilateral cooperation could not go unnoticed, President Nyusi remarked.
Nyusi describes Masire as a faithful follower of the founders of the SADC countries, pointing out, for example, that President Seretse Khama and President Samora Machel had forged strong ties between the two countries.
“President Masire was instrumental in providing much-needed solidarity at difficult moments of the nation’s construction in Mozambique, especially when our country was deeply affected by armed conflict,” the president said.
The presidential communiqué cited the political destabilization directed by the minority regimes of the former South Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, adding that when the peace process in Mozambique faltered, it was President Masire who reached out to help.
Once again, when Mozambican peace was tested in the last two years by discord over the results of the 2014 elections, President Masire showed himself promptly available to help facilitate dialogue between the government and Renamo.
President Masire’s legacy and commitment to the SADC’s political and socio-economic integration as head of state of a member country, president and facilitator, could fill volumes.
The life and work of Masire would remain indelibly inscribed in the annals of the history of Botswana, Mozambique, Southern Africa and the entire African continent, President Nyusi said. In recognising this great statesman, the thoughts of Mozambicans are with the Masire family and the people of Botswana.Source: Angop