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Elephants, Alcohol and Benefits Divide Botswana Ruling Party

  • Ex-president says his successor ‘isn’t doing a good job’
  • Khama backs challenger to hand-picked successor Masisi
Ian Khama, left, shakes hands with Mokgweetsi Masisi before stepping down in March 2018.
Ian Khama, left, shakes hands with Mokgweetsi Masisi before stepping down in March 2018.Photographer: Monirul Bhuiyan/AFP/Getty Images
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Botswana’s ruling party is in the midst of its worst crisis since taking power at independence from the U.K. in 1966 as a leadership battle rages ahead of an elective congress next month.

A political feud between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor, Ian Khama, has exposed divisions within the Botswana Democratic Party as it’s preparing to hold a leadership vote on April 5 and contest general elections later this year. The rift is unusual in the world’s biggest diamond producer after Russia, and poses a threat to the party’s ability to retain the power it’s held since independence.