Former Botswana president Ian Khama has challenged a warrant of arrest issued against him by a court in the southern African country last week, insisting in court papers that he has committed no crime and is a victim of political persecution by the Gaborone authorities.Khama petitioned the high court in Gaborone late Thursday to set aside the arrest warrant, which he argued threatened his “right to liberty in circumstances where I have committed no crime.”
The arrest warrant was issued by a Gaborone magistrate on December 29 last year after the former president failed to appear in court to answer charges for unlawful possession of firearms more than six years ago and corruption.
Khama faces charges of illegally possessing firearms sometime in March 2016 as well as receiving stolen property and money laundering.
Khama has denied the allegations, branding it part of political persecution by his successor, President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
He was initially charged in April 2022 in absentia along with former state intelligence boss Isaac Kgosi, suspended police commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe and Victor Paledi, a former deputy permanent secretary in the youth, gender, sport and culture ministry.
Khama has been living in South Africa since November 2021 when he left Botswana, saying he feared for his life.