Khama seeks 'ideally tall and slim' first lady
Mounting anticipation in Botswana over next week's visit by First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters is being undercut by concerns over the absence of a first lady to host the US visitors. Despite long-running criticism the country's president, Ian Khama, remains resolutely single. Mr Khama, a 58-year-old former army officer who trained at Sandhurst, has in the past said that a wife would be "a distraction" to his duty of serving the country.
He has caused consternation by saying that any wife he chose would have to be "tall and slim".
An intense debate has begun as to the most suitable female candidates to stand in as first lady.
The wife of vice-president Mompati Merafhe has been dismissed as unknown and while Botsalo Ntuane, the opposition leader, has a girlfriend, local media say only a married woman would fit the role.
Botswana's speaker of parliament, Margaret Nasha, would be a possible candidate were she not 20 years older than Mrs Obama, Botswanan newspaper 'Mmegi' said.
An article in the newspaper said: "Surely Michelle Obama would need someone with whom she can chit chat and perhaps give a 'high-five' to."
Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, the minister of trade and industry, who is tipped as a possible future president has also been tipped for the role.
Mrs Obama will visit South Africa after Botswana, where, due to polygamous President Jacob Zuma, she will be spoiled for choice for first ladies. (© Daily Telegraph, London)