Former Botswana President Ian Khama has filed an urgent court motion seeking to vacate an arrest order issued by a magistrate.
Mr Khama, whose father Seretse Khama was Botswana’s founding president, is at odds with his successor and incumbent President Mokgweetsi Masisi, prompting him to resign from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in 2019.
The warrant was issued when Mr Khama, who has been residing in South Africa since November 2021, failed to appear in court in April to address allegations brought against him. They include unauthorized firearm ownership, receiving stolen property, and falsely obtaining firearm registration.
Mr Khama has petitioned the Gaborone High Court to set down or suspend the execution of the warrant against him, citing a lack of evidence for his prosecution, according to court papers unsealed on Thursday.
“The warrant of arrest threatens my right to liberty in situations where I have committed no crime. If this arrest warrant is not stayed or set aside, I would suffer irreparable injury that cannot be compensated in any way,” the ex-president stated in the filing.
According to his counsel, Khama is still waiting for a court date. Mr Khama has skipped court hearings since being charged in April, claiming he was afraid for his life in Botswana.
Mr Khama is currently the patron of the Botswana Patriotic Front, a dissident political organization.