SADC leaders urged to follow Botswana lead over disputed Zim polls

SADC leaders

SADC leaders are urged to be critical of sham elections

By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
28 January 2014

Leaders in the Southern African region have been urged to follow the lead of Botswana’s President Ian Khama in condemning Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections as neither fair nor credible.

In an interview aired on Botswana’s national television station, BTV, Khama said the Zim elections were neither free nor fair. He also announced that Botswana will no longer participate in any SADC election observer missions, because the leadership bloc appears to have let Zimbabwe “off the hook”. The Botswana President insisted that the elections were never fair, and that the rules that govern democratic elections in Southern African were not followed in Zimbabwe’s case.

“SADC has set itself guidelines for the conduct of free and fair elections…And in Zim, we sent 80 plus or so observers and almost every one of them said there were irregularities in that election, and there were. I am convinced of it,” Khama said.

He added: “So, the point was just to say that we must fix the problem because if the guidelines were violated and you create that precedent in Zimbabwe, then it means the next election, because Zimbabwe is going to have elections again, they are likely to repeat the same irregularities. So, do we say Zimbabwe is an exception to the SADC guidelines?”

Khama’s comments fly in the face of SADC’s endorsement of Zimbabwe’s elections, which have also been disputed by the opposition MDCs in Zimbabwe, civil society groups and regional observer teams present during the polls.

One of the observers, Masizole Mnqasela, the South African Shadow Minister for Home affairs from the Democratic Alliance (DA), refused to sign off on a SADC report that endorsed the polls. He defended his position this week and said other SADC leaders should learn from Khama’s statement.

“The election process could not be regarded as a process that was free, or proper. It was a process that lacked credibility and was unconstitutional. So one could not help but declare them unconstitutional and they could not be condoned,” Mnqasela told SW Radio Africa’s Diaspora Diaries series.

He explained that the principles that govern SADC’s commitment to democracy and development need to be upheld, for the good of the entire region.

“If we as a region are able to stand up together, it would be good not just for Zimbabwe’s future, but other countries too. So any country and any leader will know that if you do what happened in Zimbabwe, we will not support you. If you break the rules, you won’t be supported, as Khama has rightly said,” Mnqasela added.

Piers Pigou, the Southern Africa Project director at the International Crisis Group, meanwhile questioned what has prompted Khama to voice his concerns, so long after Zimbabwe’s July polls.

“Botswana is often singled out and accused of not following the regional line, and we knew that they were unhappy about Zimbabwe’s polls before and even wanted an audit,” Pigou said.

He added: “So we are left speculating about what has prompted this. What is outstanding from the observation process is the publication of a final report on the elections by SADC itself, and it may have something to do with that.”

That report is understood to be in the hands of Namibia’s President Hifikepunye Pohamba, the current chair of the SADC Troika. Pigou said the “cynical argument” about the delay could be that this is a deliberate attempt to put as much time as possible between the polls and report.

“So Khama’s comments could reflect a level of desperation and exasperation with SADC and the failure to address the issues in Zimbabwe’s elections,” Pigou said.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information, Jonathan Moyo, gave a scathing reaction to Khama’s comments, saying the Botswana President was only seeking the attention of the European Union (EU), ahead of an EU meeting on Zimbabwe’s targeted restrictive measures.

“We are of course aware that the EU’s annual review of its illegal sanctions is scheduled for around February 19. Nobody should be surprised that the usual voices that have traditionally supported the self-indulgent and evil Anglo-Saxon sanctions about this time of the year since 2003 are at it again ahead of the February 19 EU meetings in Brussels,” Moyo said.

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16 Responsesto “SADC leaders urged to follow Botswana lead over disputed Zim polls”

  1. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    President Khama is the only coloured and probably the last coloured president on the African continent. Being the son an English woman who was married to Sir Seretse Khama of the Bamangato, he was raised and taught along the English tradition, values and way of life by his mother. He holds Eurocentric views which have no place on the African continent.
    Quite frank, he does not represent the African tradition, values and our way of life but that of Europe. For these reasons, no African leader worthy his name will take this Tswana president seriously.

    President Khama does not consider himself a black man, a trait he must have learnt from his mother as he was growing up. He has largely remained highly aloof and isolated from other presidents on the continent. Consequently, President Khama commands no respect and influence on the African continent. In any case, no African President and his people can listen attentively to a Tswana leader who presides over a population of only 1.2 million people, the lowest population of any country on the African continent and much lower than Mutare City in Zimbabwe.

    • THE BLACK ARISTOCRAT says:

      ‘President Khama does not consider himself a black man,’ so says our CIO operative now singing for his supper from the sanctuary of a civilised country far away from the bankrupt, festering sh*thole Mugabe has reduced Zimbabwe to.

      That’s right like the rest of the world Kharma considers himself a member of the human race first and foremost – not a white, coloured or black – unlike the despot Mugabe and his Zanu PF racists !

      What really gets up Mugabe’s nose is that Kharma has developed Botswana into one of the most successful economies in Africa, with the lowest level of corruption and one of the highest standards of living found anywhere on the entire continent!

      The hated and despised Mugabe can only dream about being as successful as Kharma in running a country ! But, as the people of Botswana know very well, Kharma runs his country for his people, while Mugabe runs the Mafia State formerly known as Zimbabwe for himself and his criminal cabal Zanu’diesel from rocks’PF

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        Now you have changed your mind that the Warvet is a CIO operative singing for his supper when a few days ago you indicated to the readership that he could not be associated to this organisation on account of his low IQ. How can you be so contradictory and hope to earn respect and good standing from your readers.
        What we have known over the years is that you work for that pirate radio station and can never be honourable and a woman of good standing in society but a sell out and at best an uncle tom who does not have a mind of her own but that of her handlers that instruct her what to talk about. The Warvet is not gagged by anyone but speaks his mind without undue influence from anybody. That is the difference between you and the Warvet and you should get used to this idea. And let us shut the fck up on this subject that is increasingly becoming monotonous.

        • THE BLACK ARISTOCRAT says:

          Get it right – What i said was that considering the poor value for money your propaganda offers, it is amazing they have you in their employ, but that probably says more about their stupidity and lack of IQ as much as it does yours!

          ‘And let us shut the fck up on this subject that is increasingly becoming monotonous.’ Believe me we’ve only just started ! LoL!!

          • wilbert says:

            No one in the CIO is known for being smart; they are well known for being ruthless and repeating whatever they are instructed to say regardless how stupid that may be.
            Chimbwido, as the name imply, is the type CIO operatives would want to use to do some of these really dirty jobs and pay them peanuts. A few months ago he was up in arms at seeing how rich Philip Chiyangwa, with all his posh cars, farms, houses, businesses, etc. Chiyangwa has done nothing to help establish the Zanu PF dictatorship. Meanwhile Chimbwido kicked innocent Zimbabweans “until they bled profusely” only he got for all that is a tiny piece of land.
            Chimbwido is the big-mouth type the CIO would want killed if he was back in Zimbabwe because they know he will finger them now that the dictatorship is on its last legs. He will shout his support for Mugabe but from the safety of London but will never go back to Zimbabwe. It is not just the chaos he is afraid of but, ironically, the murderous CIO!

          • THE BLACK ARISTOCRAT says:

            Are you suggesting he is so low paid that he and his family is reliant on his life of luxury from the UK welfare benefits system

            Oh the irony !

            For his sake, I do hope he is declaring this ‘additional income’, because the UK tax authorities and taxpayers take a very dim view of those claiming benefits who are not entitled to them – he should remember the UK is not Zimbabwe, where paying tax is only for the little people!

          • wilbert says:

            I would not be surprised if Chimbwido claimed that his very life was in danger to be allowed in UK. Chimbwido is not his real name of course. He is not the only Zanu PF supporter, senior leader or their family members now living in the West but continue to support the Zanu PF dictatorship.

            It is a great pity that the West have never bothered to ensure the targeted sanctions caught all those who are for all intend and purposes Zanu PF agents!

        • SlaptheZanuMonkey says:

          Hohoho!! The Racist Baboon sounds a bit unhappy? Why do we listen to this fake Warvet who was the maComrades wife/bitch during the Liberation Struggle? What a cowardly, silly, ignorant little girl.

      • wilbert says:

        Mugabe’s ivy of Botswana and other nations in the region is so intense he will do anything to destabilize these nations – he is that much off the hinges.

    • wilbert says:

      And what views do you hold Chimbwido? What views does Mugabe hold? Judging from the total dog’s breakfast he has made of the Zimbabwe economy, his voodoo economics have been a total disaster. Botswana’s economy, on the other hand has continued to flourish!

    • Larry King says:

      For speaking his mind about the scam election in Zimbabwe and African leaders accepting the false outcome Ian Khama has done the right thing. His country Botswana will not be party to any future Sadac observer missions. Why should Botswana get involved with a pack of liars, it is an exceptional democracy and it has every right not to ratify a corrupt regime like we have in Zimbabwe.

      Chimbwido we all know is only a stupid CIO operative who pretends what he is not, factually speaking this evil man is no human, his thinking is similar to that of a baboon. He does not have the credentials to belittle any person who does good and is not black. After their return from the bush war some Zanu PF comrades have still not seen the light of day. They are still in a state of cultural shock, they have not changed one bit for them everything is in the context of black and white. Khama is neither, he is the product of a mixed marriage, which his people have embraced. Chimbwido is nobody and for that matter the worst imbecile to judge others. He is a mere lunatic he is only good enough to be a CIO operative where no intellect is required.

      Chimbwido thinks he is civilized, but the fact is he still thinks like a cave man, he is just goon. Goons lack the ability to think Chimbwido is a good example of this, unable or unwilling to think rationally. He has a Zanu PF tracked mind set, consumed in racist bigotry and arrogance. So what Khama is not 100% black that he is of mixed race? And why should that bother an unenlightened Chimbwido who only knows one thing to take his orders blindly from his paymasters the CIO. One does not have to be intelligent to be in Zanu PF or be part of a notorious agency like the CIO. You must be a Chimbwido or a thick headed SOB

  2. Alfredo says:

    President Khama is my President and I do know that he has the interest of Africans at heart, I am a motswana, a member of the ruling party, but I don’t have to agree with him in all subjects, particularly the question of whether those elections in Zimbwabwe were free and fair, what I know is that Zimbabweans did their best to conduct these elections and I believe that is not helpful for our President to voice against SADC position in public, this can only create a poisoned atmosphere between our two countries and it is an environment we all don’t need.

    • wilbert says:

      Botswana is doubly lucky in not having a naïve Motswana like you in any leadership position and having a man of vision like President Khama for president. In contrast, Zimbabwe is doubly unlucky in having the blundering idiot like Tsvangirai as PM and murderous tyrant Mugabe for president!

      Mugabe is building a Spy University to turn Zimbabwe into a North Korea style Police State. Life is hard in Zimbabwe but it is going to be hell-on-earth if he is allowed to complete his project. Do you really believe Mugabe will not have his spies operating in Botswana and other countries? Of course, you never thought of that; as I said you are very naïve green horn!

      • Jonathan Sibanda says:

        You are ambushing Chimbwido Warvet who has done a sterling job and is now out of the scene. What a fcking coward who behave like Morgan Tsvangirai, who sat on his laurels while others were fighting the liberation war but now wants to govern the war veterans.

  3. wilbert says:

    SADC took on the responsibility of being the guarantors of the GPA that saw the rehabilitation of Mugabe back into the international community following the 2008 Zimbabwe elections which were marred by some of the worst wanton electoral violence in human history. The GPA set out a roadmap calling on the GNU in Harare to implement democratic reforms and draft a new democratic constitution and then the holding of fresh elections.
    Not even one of the reforms was implemented and the Copac constitution produced by the dysfunctional GNU is not even worth the paper it is written on..
    To be fair to SADC Heads of State, they were are of the failure by Harare to deliver of any of the conditions for free and fair elections. They roundly criticized the then Prime Minister and his MDC colleagues for “forgetting” they were in the GNU to implement the reforms, etc.
    As the guarantors of the GPA the question SADC Heads failed to answer a year ago and has come back again and again and will never go away is why SADC Heads allowed the elections to go ahead knowing none of the conditions for free and fair elections had been met?
    Of course it was no surprise to anyone other than the naïve Tsvangirai and his MDC supporters that the July 2013 were NOT free, fair or credible. SADC Heads compounded their earlier mistake by giving Mugabe’s vote rigging their approval.
    Allowing Mugabe to blatantly disregard the reforms agreed in the GPA and flout the region’s own electoral rules has inflated the tyrant’s ego but deflated all confidence in Zimbabwe as a country where the individual has any rights and there is such thing as rule of law. The political and economic consequences of this vote of no confidence are even greater economic melt-down and political instability then the 2008 that forced SADC to formulate the GPA.
    SADC Heads must act now to sort out the mess in Zimbabwe; their reputation is at stake, the region’s political and economic stability is at stake and the very future of the people of Zimbabwe is at stake. Zimbabwe remains SADC’s unfinished business, doing nothing about it is simply not a option!.

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