Khama in Zimbabwe Poll U-Turn

via Khama in Zimbabwe Poll U-Turn; Ready to Work With Mugabe by Martin Ngwenya

Botswana President Ian Khama has made a U-turn on Zimbabwe’s elections telling reporters on return from the weekend Southern African Development Community summit in Malawi that he is ready to work with President Robert Mugabe, whose election Gaborone had castigated saying the polls that saw him re-elected were a ‘circus’.

Soon after the July 31 election Botswana called for an independent audit of Zimbabwe’s disputed vote saying the elections could not be considered acceptably free and fair in the regional southern African community.

But after attending the SADC Heads of States and Governments Summit in Lilongwe where President Robert Mugabe received a standing ovation from regional leaders, who also endorsed his re-election, Khama was singing a different tune.

The Botswana president, who held a closed door meeting with Mr. Mugabe Sunday said his government is ready to work with Harare and build strong relations with its neighbor.

Gaborone and Harare appeared on a collision course when Botswana demanded the audit of last month’s polls, calling them a ‘circus’.

Speaking during the campaign trail, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai told supporters President Khama was his friend, adding he had given Mr. Mugabe a torrid time at another SADC summit in Maputo over the crisis in Zimbabwe telling the veteran leader the colonial era was long gone and that the two MDC formations were not enemies of Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe is our neighbor and they now have a government in place for the next five years and we have to continue to cooperate and improve cooperation between us and them and we shall be doing so,” said Khama.

He, however, said Botswana has submitted its dossier on the Zimbabwe elections to SADC.

“On the elections, we have now deposited the dossier with SADC so now it’s in their hands – the SADC organ’s hands – but I must go on to say that be that as it may, we have done what we needed to do,” said Khama.

His comments come days after Gaborone was seen to be backtracking and disowning statements made by Khama’s former vice president, Mompati Merafhe, who headed Botswana’s observer mission for the Zimbabwe elections.

Merafhe called the Zimbabwe elections a ‘circus’, adding SADC was ‘sick and tired’ of the country’s political troubles.

Botswana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Phandu Skelemani then called for an audit of the election as the MDC-T maintained the polls were rigged in favour of Zanu PF.  Gaborone was expected to lobby other SADC countries at the summit over the issue, but has instead, now endorsed Mr. Mugabe’s re-election.

Khama is expected to attend Mugabe’s inauguration scheduled for Thursday.



  • comment-avatar
    Collin Mackenzie 9 years ago

    Wow never trust snake Botswana is and will never be friends of Zimbabwe and all know that.

    Botswana is afraid of Zimbabwe force,like said 7 hours and we will colonies Botswana and disarm that American air base

    Khama must come clean and lets see his elections next year Khama is Obama’s wife

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      Rudadiso 9 years ago

      Collin Mackenzie you are delusional. Zimbabwe, a country which can’t feed it’s own people, has pot holed roads and 80% unemployment and to cut a long story short, is run by an octogenarian who believes diesel can ooze from a rock is in no position to colonise anyone.

      Why would Botswana be afraid of a toothless bulldog? Khama said he is going to work with Zimbabwe but didn’t say he now believed Mugabe was elected freely and fairly and notably, Botswana still submitted it’s dossier.

      Besides, while bullies embark on needless talk of war which no one listens to, other countries are moving forward.

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      still thinking of war when others like Botswana are working day and night to boost their economy. What a shame, MR.

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      unongofunga zvemhiri zhonga chete, pasina zvinovaka. Shallow minds

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      Morris 9 years ago

      Be careful, the instalment above is kind of titled wrongly. There is no U-turn at all. They did not withdraw their statements, they deposited a dossier and they simply said we have a government which they will work with.

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    Guvnor 9 years ago

    A strategic withdrawl is not a defeat. Botswana does not loose a cent or any sleep by being diplomatic. Only a zanu muppet would take Botswana’s stance as an endorsement of the false “landslide electoral victory.”

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      Zimbabwe 9 years ago

      True but at the same time you can’t burn bridges you might one day need to cross. And to be honest Ian Khama has never been sharpest tool in the box if you know what i mean. Those that don’t it means he’s not very smart. All he’s done is inherit a booming economy. If i was him i’d be botd out of my mind

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        Mugabe inherited an economy which was even better than Khama’s. Khama haana kumamira economy asi wako ndiye akamamira – mismanagement of what was there up to a point where the bread basket of Southern Africa (ZIM) is now the Basket case of Southern Africa. Are you not ashamed of yourself, look around you.

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    Pafunge 9 years ago

    How i wish i were a fly on the wall within the room where khama and bob were having a closed door tet.a.tet meeting. It should have been interesting to listen to that conversation! Whatever it was it seems it did not deter muzukuru khama from depositing the botswana observer dossier report on zim elections to sadc. Not much of an about face by muzukuru i would say! I mean these are the dossiers with reports that will determine the fairness as well as the credibility of the zim polls hence the legitimacy of bob as a valid president elect?

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    it must feel terrable to have an imposter presiding over your country.

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    eztechplc 9 years ago

    Only Zimbabweans can fight their wars…..i grew up in the rural side of Zimbabwe……every household needed to setup its fire in the morning. The were two and only two ways; the first was lighting your own match stick and the second was to go and borrow burning charcoal from your neighbour (who would have set up hers).

    It was never a neighbour’s responsibility to set on our family fire…… apparently none of my neighbours denied us charcoal directly or indirectly. Now therefore, Khama is just like my rural neighbour, who can only help you to put on your own fire

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    Greyhora 9 years ago

    Khama is the lone voice of reason in the whole of SADC, he doesn’t just rubber-stamp dictators into office, if there’s something he doesn’t feel is right he says so without mincing his words. What he has done now is not a u-turn, but an acceptance of the fact that SADC is toothless and consensus, no matter how flawed rules in that institution. Botswana’s economy is well managed and booming and people like Zimbabwe bark about being sharp when Zimbabwe with its multiple degreed leader is now a basket case, what benefit are those degrees if the leader is still a fool?

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    Nanette B Smith 9 years ago

    How disappointing but then that is politics. Who do we trust except the Lord? Blessed is the man that trusts in God and cursed is the man who trusts in man.

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    walla walla 9 years ago

    Khama is a colored breed for once and while at it don’t forget a soldier. You can expect anything that makes sense from him ,his own cabinet is contaminated by former military nuts and listen to whatever he says, in short like Mugabe he is militarizing the state.

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    Joyce 9 years ago

    Wonder if Khama walked out of that meeting with a pocket full of diamonds?

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    Collin Mackenzie 9 years ago

    Shame I see this site puts up selective comments that favour the site and support MDC

    I still say to hell with Khama and you must tell him I said so
    Zimbabweans will sort them self’s out did Botswana ever contribute or give Zimbabwe anything even during the time of armed struggle
    They sold our base’s out to the ***** if it Zambia saying something I would jump
    Not that lady from next door, his created something that he himself knows will not only affect him but the way Zimbabweans view the lady next for generations to come
    What a joke

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    GRACE 8 years ago

    You can say whatever you say about our president Ian Khama but one thing that I don’t seem to understand is why is half of the population of Zimbabwe here in Bots? What are you people doing here? Why are there so many in the diaspora? How many Batswana are in Zim asking for piece jobs? How many Bots nationals in your prisons? Here in Bots our prisons are full of Zimbos.