Botswana breaks ranks with AU, Sadc | The Herald

via Botswana breaks ranks with AU, Sadc | The Herald January 26, 2014 by Makomborero Mutimukulu

Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama has broken ranks with Sadc and the rest of Africa, saying his country will not participate in future Sadc election observer missions as he claims that there were irregularities in Zimbabwe’s polls last year. he has also gone against the African Union (AU), saying sitting heads of state should be brought  before the Western-controlled International Criminal Court (ICC).
The AU last year resolved that no sitting African head of state should be taken to the court.

In an interview aired on BTV last Sunday, the Botswana leader disclosed that he was against the AU resolution.
On Zimbabwe, he announced that his country will no longer participate in any Sadc election observer missions as the regional bloc appears to have let the country “off the hook”.

Without citing specific examples, he also said he was convinced that the elections, which saw Zanu-PF gallop to a massive victory and receive congratulatory messages from such bodies as the United Nations, the AU and Sadc, among others, were neither free nor fair.

“I want to correct the word fairness . . . the Sadc observer statement said the elections were free and peaceful, they never used the word fair . . . that’s why we asked for an audit of the Zimbabwe election,” he said.

“Sadc has set itself guidelines for the conduct of free and fair elections and, therefore, it’s incumbent on all of us in Sadc to conform to those set of guidelines and if there is a breach of those guidelines then we have to say, ‘Fine, we have breached these guidelines; what now happens? What do we do about it?’ 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.

“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 gonna have elections again, they are likely to repeat the same irregularities. So, do we say Zimbabwe is an exception to the Sadc guidelines?”

Quizzed if he was comfortable with making Botswana the only African country calling for an audit of the Zimbabwean election, Mr Khama replied, “I am very comfortable, I would sleep better at night knowing that I have taken that stance.”

He also claimed that Sadc’s alleged failure to deal with Zimbabwe would give rise to a situation whereby other countries will flout the bloc’s election guidelines before telling it to go hang.

“If we say this year, there are going to be elections in South Africa and Botswana . . . there are one or two other Sadc countries that are going to be holding elections this year . . . if we breach the Sadc guidelines and they then try and point a finger . . . we will say to them, ‘So what? You let Zimbabwe off the hook, you have to let us off the hook.’ Then where does it end?

“So, we have written to Sadc and the head of the Sadc organ on defence and security and we sent them a dossier of all the irregularities our people picked up. But we have gone on to say until we get a response, we, as Botswana, are not going to participate in any more Sadc observer missions because there is no point going there . . . these observer missions cost money and we are not going to throw money down the drain.

“So, we are making a statement.”
He, however, reiterated that he was ready to work with President Mugabe’s Government.
“Zimbabwe is a neighbour; we cannot get away from that.

“Despite what has happened, that Government has been recognised and we will do business because it’s in our interest, because it’s for the benefit of both peoples that we work together,” said the Botswana leader, adding that he would have no problems with visiting Harare as well as hosting President Mugabe. Asked about his opinion on the ICC indicting sitting African leaders, Mr Khama once again stepped out of line with the AU position on the matter.

“Now someone once said to me, ‘Should a sitting president, while he is in office, have to appear before the ICC, shouldn’t he rather wait until his term of office has concluded and then he goes to the criminal court?’

“My answer to that person was that (Muammar) Gaddafi was in power for 40 years. We have others on this continent who have been in power for 30 years, 20 years. Are you suggesting that if any president commits a crime, maybe earlier on in his term, the victims have to wait 10, 20, 30, 40 years before there is justice?

“I think being president shouldn’t protect us from appearing before the court,” he said.
In October last year, an AU summit agreed to a resolution that no sitting African president should be tried in international courts while in office.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Sudanese leader Omar-al Bashir are some of the African leaders who have been indicted by the ICC.

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63 comments on “Botswana breaks ranks with AU, Sadc | The Herald
  1. John Thomas says:


  2. A true African statesman with intelligence to boot. Botswana also has diamonds is highest per capita gdp in Africa while mugabeland testers at the bottom of the cess pit

  3. gutu says:

    Thank you President Khama for being the only voice of reason in the whole region,hopefully you will get a few more on board and return credibility to SADC because as it is now its no longer representing citizens of the region but a few despots especially mugabe,dos santos and others. We also need leaders like you in Africa who can respect the principles of both the AU and all the respective regional bodies in the continent not protecting one another like Nkosazana and company are doing. There is completely nothing special about a president which bars him from answering questions at the ICC for human rights violations. Uhuru must go and clear his name and if he is guilty I do not think he is the last Kenyan standing! Kenyans can choose another leader. Khama is doing a very good job

  4. Dzenyika says:

    Good man. No point having rules if they aren’t going to be enforced.

  5. dzungu says:

    At we have 1 decent leader in Africa- I repeat 1 because the rest are neither decent nor have the interests of their people @ heart

    • Wilbert Mukori says:

      SADC has been turned into the thieves and tyrants’ club in which the leaders are the members and it is there to promote the members’ interests only!

  6. Wilbert Mukori says:

    President Ian Khama deserves to be called a great statesman for his willingness to tackle the difficult issue, for trading where other shy away.

    The issue of free and fair elections lies at the very heart of our entire search for peace, justice, freedom, human dignity, economic stability and prosperity; every-thing. Leaders like President Zuma of SA have paid lip-service democratic reforms in Zimbabwe for years and so nothing was achieve. Zimbabwe did not have even one reform implemented in the five years of the GNU.

    It was not for President Zuma or any of the SADC Heads of State to implement the reforms; that is true. This was a task for Zimbabwe’s partners in the GNU, especially MDC and its leader Tsvangirai, to do. But having noticed that none of the reforms were being implemented there was nothing to stop President Zuma cracking the whip.

    The SADC and AU election observers reported that they had been numerous irregularities in the Zimbabwe elections it was the responsibility of SADC and AU Head of State to reject the election result instead of sweeping the finding under the carpet.

    All SADC and AU leaders must now hang their collective head in shame; all that is expect President Khama of Botswana. All freedom loving people of SADC and be-yond salute you sir. You are a beacon of hope at a time when our region and continent need someone they can look up to.

  7. adam jones says:

    Now this guy is iconic. Tell it as it is. No beating about the bush. Stollen ellections should not be accepted and that is it. My goodness – this man is sobber – the only sobber leader in Africa. Maybe even the world-over because I dont think even Obama can be this brave? When he says observer missions cost money I dont thik he means that per ser because money is money. Mugabe paid nikov at least 13 million US dollars to rig our elections the other day – so mugabe could eqaully pay the bills for Khama’s team as long as they endose as required (as he did with Zuma’s team using diamonds money despite the poverty in Zim). What Khama is sayinhg is that Botswana will not send observer missions to ellections that are stollen and his team is used to endose the stollen elections. Kushandiswa. Ukusetshenjiswa. For some reason I think Zuma, in russhing to congratulate zanu, is himself laying the foundations for rigging. I might be wrong. The other day Zuma was wondering wether changing the constitution of South Africa to allow unlimited presidential terms would be a bad idea? The man is contepleting inkandla 2, 3, 4, …….50 may be. Khama says NO to such not even leaders – NO NO NO.

  8. Reverend says:

    Thank you President Ian Khama for standing up to SADC and the AU and pointing out the travesty of their dishonesty, and I am glad to say that this is in good timing as we watch the demise of the self assumed president of this country and look forward to an election after he is dead that we can genuinely call free and fair as you have stood up for the COMMON PEOPLE OF AFRICA that have been oppressed by these evil dictators. Thank God for people like you.

  9. Peter tosh says:

    Nuff respect khama.

  10. Tanonoka Joseph Whande says:

    I agree whole-heartedly, whether or not Khama means it. The point is that SADC is a broken-down, useless entity that seems to soothe the egos of those leaders who commit atrocities.
    Khama is also putting himself on the line and, hopefully, will uphold what he is preaching.
    Africa does not only need leadership, but compassionate leadership divorced from secret foreign bank accounts, murders, and abuse of its citizens.
    Africa is the cradle of the world. We have history, minerals, and ideologies that have benefited humankind.
    Khama’s rhetoric must be heeded but, above all, must be put into practice by all African leaders, including Khama himself.
    Let’s go; it’s sunset already.

  11. Fallenz says:

    What they said……
    and said so well.

  12. Biridziro says:

    What a principled man!!! Africa needs a few of these.

  13. Bona says:

    Thank you President Khama for being honest and speaking directly to the topic .

  14. Nyoni says:

    Yes there are people like KHAMA in Africa but are they given a chance to rule or even given a voice. We all know Mugabes view about people like Khama. Well done Ian Khama I and others have always respected you. You are the next MANDELA OF THE WORLD OR MAYBE ALWAYS HAVE BEEN BUT NO ONE CARED TO NOTICE.

    • Mena Bona says:

      Absolutely right! We can guess what Mugabe’s mongrel is going to have to say about this man,” A real Leader ” Ten points to those that know who I am talking about.

      You got, Idiot Malema.

  15. Ephrain Gumbo says:

    Ian Khama is firmly in the pocket of the Western Imperialists. That being said, I am very pleased that at least one African head of State is making a stand against the goings on in Zimbabwe and for this brave effort I salute him. There is just too much corruption and deceipt. All of us, regardless of how small or insignificant we might feel we are just have to possess the courage to stand up against this gross incompetence, mismanagement, greed and corruption. All of us in ZANU PF have to clean up our act and challenge this evil. What other choice do we have?

    • Reverend says:

      Mr Gumbo, of course cleaning up your act in Zanupf would be a wonderful thing, but it may mean you have to leave the party as it is quite clear that none of your comrades have the same idea of getting back to moral decency and staying in the party would mean you have to continue to bathe yourself in the decadent sesspool of corruption that is the flagship of your party OR you need to humble yourself and join the ranks of the majority of law abiding citizens fighting for moral decency and the return of law and death of your corrupt party. The Lord give you wisdom.

  16. Rukweza says:

    When someone is doing his things properly you say his a puppet,what about zim that can’t feed it’s people

  17. cde mabhunu says:

    gara zviye khama ane mukadzi here.

  18. Chatunga says:

    Bravo, great statesman, Khama, only voice of reason against tyrany

  19. NBS says:

    Sir, you truly are an inspiration. may God bless Botswanna

  20. bingo wajakata says:

    What can I say, you have already taken all the words out of my mouth. This guy is great, period. Not the circus we see with Mbeki, Zuma, Mwanawasa, and the rest of SADC. Once a precedent has been set it becomes very difficult to stick to the laws and regulations because there are no laws separate for each country. Why have laws governing to SADC group if there is no will to stick and enforce them. Were these guidelines created to please the west so as to get donations? SADC is just but a joke! Compare what is happening in the East African block, that bunch is slowly but surely moving forward while we seat around and people like Mugarbage steal elections yet he is semidead! Mbeki, the HIV does not cause AIDS idiot and Shower head, if you run fast enough and take a shower after unprotected sex you will not catch AIDS just clowne about without a clue as to how move a nation forward. I hate to a pessimist but South Africa is heading for the rocks. Very soon its Rand will trade at 15 to 1 to the US dollar. Southern Africa and SADC are a bunch of wienies who are unable to stand and point to each other’s mistakes.History will one day detail why Southern Africa remained the dark part of the continent while the rest of Africa over took its initial leading position on the continent.

    • Zvomukonde says:

      Just a few points of correction,Bingo you can not put Mwanawasa in the same sentence as Mbeki Zuma.
      I Remember shortly before his death he was standing up to Mugabe and Mbeki. Right before he boarded that flight to Egypt he did say something abot putting those two in place (Mugabe and Mbeki).
      Even as Chiluba’s appointee he still held Chiluba accountable to his actions while he was in office. His corruption drive yielded great results in Zambia
      If by East Africa you mean DRC,Kenya,Uganda ,Rwanda.I fail to see what progress you are talking about

  21. munzwa says:

    Sir, we thank you for your statesmanship and it is our hope that one by one more countries in Africa follow your lead, i say countries not leaders as most of the incumbents are too ashamed to change course but there is a new crop of leaders waiting in the wings and your statement Sir will give them encouragement.

  22. Tats says:

    The only voice of reason in Africa. What’s really the point of having observer missions when the outcome irregardless of glaring irregularities will still be rubberstamped?

  23. Only Fools says:

    Well done President Khama, a true leader.

  24. Idani Maniwa says:

    Of in Botswana elections are NEVER fair; free – of course yes, because Batswana are peace loving people they will never fight each other. Khama’s ruling party – BDP uses state resources and he uses state media and poverty relief programmes as if they were party organs and this ensures he has an edge over his opponents.

    On trying a sitting president in court – why does he see it differently when Botswana has the same clause in its constitution. He actually used the clause on his first year he took the seat. His case against a rebel BDP member Gomolemo Motswaledi was won because the constitution clearly protects a sitting president from being taken to court. Is this not the same clause? He may have thought the African leaders are trying to protect each other but that is exactly what everybody here thought about that clause.

    Of cause I support our President’s statements on these issues but I DO NOT like his hypocrisy. If you talk about the spec in your brother’s eye and fail to deal with the plank lodged in yours, people will soon see that there is a serious problem in your house.

  25. Naison Mukati says:

    IAN, you are the only shining star in the dark, very dark continent. We all salute your frank and principled stand against bullies. After all, you lead the most prosperous and egalitarian country in Africa. You and your predecessors have used the mineral riches of your country for the benefit of the majority. Look at Mugabe’s ZanuPF and Zuma’s ANC governments – merchants of corruption and economic decay. Like swarms of flies on a carcass, they are stripping their countries economic resources bare for the benefit of the political and security elite at the expense of the masses. Then, as if this is not sufficiently profane, they desecrate the electorate in Zimbabwe by endorsing a patently stolen vote.Khama, you have every right to pronounce your views on these issues. You are hosting thousands of Zimbos in Botswana thanks to the mad man Mugabe, supported by his minions like Zuma and mubwidi Sata of Zambia. Well done IAN!

  26. easily fooled says:

    He must watch out for moyo and mugabe vitrolic and bambardment before the coming weekend.

    Well done. Tell them as it is!

  27. GURUNDORO says:

    Thank you President Khama.You have shown the world that you are a true leader.I wish you were my President,but unfortunate am Zimbabwean .

  28. Farai72 says:

    Thank you Mr. President!

  29. African says:

    I have lived in Botswana before, if you say anything bad about Khama his intelligence agency arrests you. They have blair toilets in the cities etc, so why not worry about his own country?

    • Hutu says:

      African he has to worry about Zimbabwe because he is an AFRICAN. He also has Zimbabweans flooding his country through hunger. Mr President you are a true icon.

  30. Zvichapera says:

    Call him puppet or not, Western looking or whatever, Thank you President Khama for standing up to impunity and corruption across Africa. What a bunch of losers!!!

  31. Saddened says:

    Well done President Khama we as Africans are proud of you for having the courage to abide by your principles & speak out. You are following the wonderful example set by your father & subsequent presidents in your country. This kind of honesty has seen Botswana rise from being a back water that no-one wanted to even colonise to being a shining example of what decent honest leadership can accomplish.

  32. Msizeni silwelani says:

    Thank you Khama. Children playing house do set their rules and follow them, sadc and the AU can’t follow political basics, one wonders why.

    Justice delayed is justice denied, truely why should Africans wait till their black oppressors vacate office, likely by death, to be allowed some sense of recourse.

  33. Neil says:

    WEll done Khama. It needed to be said. Now what can we as common man
    do to start the reversal and have a respopnsible Government in place.
    Zim is not the only one suffering.

  34. Mixed Race says:

    Well done brother,stand up for the truth.

  35. Shepy Tarzy says:

    Thumbs up Mr Ian Khama you’re the only African leader who makes sense when given the opportunity to speak. Others are a bunch of Mugabe’s wives.

  36. Chirutanga says:

    President Khama has got people at heart not these other robbers who pretend to be leaders in their own countries yet they steal from them.Some have even gone to the extent of stealing elections with their accomplices in the name of AU and Sadc.We pray for more leaders like Hounourable President Seretse Khama Ian Khama.He is a true African Leader who really feel for the poor and even go to the extent of feeding them personally.He walks around the streets and villages of Botswana freely because he is loved by the people.He is just an HONESTY LEADER who has refused to be polluted by these thugs of AU and Sadc.KEEP IT UP PRESIDENT KHAMA,YOU are the real son of Africa who knows what Africans want.You belong to the Royal family,please teach these croocks Good governance.May God bless the pesident of Botswana and give him more strength to guide other African leaders towards good governance in Africa.In Zimbabwe we have suffered serious election fraud which Sadc and AU want to sweep under the carpert.This shall haunt them for the rest of their lives.One day it will happen in your countries and how will Sadc and AU help?President Khama is just trying to bring sanity to AU and Sadc.Keep it up.Job well done.We salute you.

  37. Khaya'bonina says:

    Well done Khama , i remember Khama was not happy soon after the elections of Zimbabwe , he is the ony African president who raised his unhappiness , i think he was supposed to stick to his first words and continue about his unhappiness , he went to the SADC conference which was at Zambia and he shaked his hand with Mugabe , i am therefore worried about his recent remarks , are these remarks from him not raised too late , are his remarks going to catch up with time and bring change to Zimbabwe , are his remarks going to reverse the results of the elections as they are raised so late ? Person i welcome his brave words but i will celebrate see a change . I am hopeful other African leaders might join Khama’s call .

  38. bigie says:

    Mr Khama is an grate presedent and a very noble man, Botswana must be very proud of the stand they have taken !!! True Democracy and A true African statesman…the only one

  39. Mjiba says:

    people like african & so called cde mabhunu are mugabe’s cousins, they are parasites. vanhu ava vanehutsinye hweinda inoruma akaitakura.

    Cde Ian Khama, we salute you.

  40. Mthwakazi says:

    Botswana is the only country in Africa that knows how to deal with gukurahundis. Unflinching and highly principled.

  41. stobbs says:

    kudos to you ian but the real deal is to stand up to SADC at a meeting in front of the worlds media so that the world sees what our crying is all about

  42. Save says:

    Kudos to you your Excellence. Chakanaka chakanaka mukaka haurungwe. You have demonstrated that its possible for army generals to transition to wise political leaders without the use of force. What does it say for our own generals?

  43. MikeH says:

    A single ray of hope.

  44. machakachaka says:

    But inga wani mapepa emuZimbabwe ari kutaura nhai vaKhama. Nyatsai kuverenga. Kwanzi Biti akanyima Tsvangirai mari ye campaign, and only availed $120 000 (two weeks salary ya Cashbert Dube). So munoti MDCT yaihwina sei vakomana? Siyanai na Bob uyu, because the one who decided the election outcome was Biti. Next time the MDCT should rope in vana Chinamasa who can strategise not Biti anosabhoteja mukuru wake. Khama should see sense and acknowledge that Biti is Morgan’s main opponent working from inside, not Bob.

  45. Reverend says:


  46. Khaya'bonina says:

    Words are great , now act and assist Zimbabwe Mr Khama , thank you , pave a way for us .

  47. Morris says:

    The best message and the best view about Zimbabwe.

  48. Rwendo says:

    How splendid it must feel to speak simple and plain truths without fear or favour; peaceful no doubt. If he is as honest and upright as this in his dealings with own people, then I too salute Khama.

  49. CHINDUNDUMA says:

    President Khama we salute you Your Excellency in taking such a principled stand may God bless you. If Africa could have ONLY two Leaders like you the future would be bright. With this buffoon Mugabe there no Standards, Leadership, and Accountability the true tenets of democracy . Your are the beacon of hope for the whole of Africa.

  50. ike says:

    You stand shoulders above the rest our African President. It shows you come from a royal family. You have people’s interests and welfare at heart. Pula Botswana Pula!!!!!!

  51. yoyo says:

    As a long bearded man, never removed them in 10 years, I shave them in honour of you Khama.No more words

  52. family guy says:

    Exactly what we need, bravo

  53. die groot wyt app says:

    At one point a few years ago Botswana was ranked by Transparency International as the 4th least-corrupt government on earth, far outranking the United States and Great Britain that scored in the mid 40′s. Botswana also has the highest standard of living in all of Africa along with one of the lowest crime rates, and they vigorously protect their wildlife and natural resources.

    Their recently stated position is very well received and speaks well of the leadership and integrity of its people and government

  54. cahallgren says:

    A ray of truth! A small measure of relief they’re not ALL totally corrupt! Thank you Botswana’s President, the men and women whom help him govern, and the countries election observers who reported back on Zims stolen election last year.

  55. Mthwakazi says:

    Ian Khama, hand in hand with President Zuma, you can also help Mthwakazi defeat Shona tribalism in our beloved land.

    This includes Gukurahundism as well!!

  56. Tongoona says:

    President Khama is indeed a fighter for democracy in Africa. It is true that Zimbabwe’s July 31,2013 General elections were not free and fair.Those that say these elections were credible, said so in fear of how Zanu pf would react seeing that ZANU pf has a history of violence and bad governance. Pre-elections processes like voter registration and education were hurriedly done. Nomination papers were availed to other political parties 3 days before the sitting of Nomination court on June 28, 2013. Campaign period was reduced to 30 days only, elections were held under two constitutions (the old and new constitutions) depending on which constitution suited Zanu pf’s election strategy. The electorate was bribed with the cancellation of utility bills to undercut opposition parties. Well, it is up to you the readers to think as positively as President Khama of Botswana did.

  57. William Doctor says:

    I’m moving to Botswana!

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