Zuma, Khama corner Mugabe

via Zuma, Khama corner Mugabe – The Zimbabwe Independent May 1, 2015

PRESIDENTS Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Botswana’s Ian Khama angrily clashed with their Zimbabwean counterpart, President Robert Mugabe over xenophobia in South Africa, with the two demanding that instead of blaming their neighbour, Zimbabwe and other Sadc states must fix their broken economies to curb the rising tide of immigration.

Hazel Ndebele/Elias Mambo

While Sadc leaders met for an extraordinary summit in Harare on Wednesday to discuss an industrialisation strategy and roadmap, the major highlight of the meeting was the recent xenophobic violence and killings in South Africa which raised a storm of debate and anger across the region.

Top government officials who attended the closed door meeting said Zuma right at the beginning asked to make a presentation after the main agenda deliberations.
Some Sadc leaders like those of Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe had come itching to confront Zuma over the sensitive issue.

“The issue of industrialisation was discussed and dealt with quickly. This was done within two hours because the leaders had already been briefed by their ministers and therefore agreed with the deliberations leading to the adoption of the document,” a source said.

After industrialisation discussions, Zuma then presented his issue in point form, saying the details would be included in his report on xenophobia to Sadc, African Union and the United Nations.

The source said Zuma spoke on a variety of measures South Africa is implementing to tackle the problem, which included an intense nationwide anti-xenophobia campaign to teach locals the need for tolerance of foreigners and immigrant’s contributions to the economy, as well as new measures on immigration laws and tightening of security at its porous borders.

Zuma also said other countries in the region should also come up with solutions instead of just criticising South Africa as he had already pointed out in his address on Freedom Day on Monday.

The South African leader this week emphasised that xenophobia was not South Africa’s problem alone. “As much as we have a problem that is alleged to be xenophobic, our sister countries contribute to this. Why are their citizens not in their countries?” he asked as he shifted the debate towards the root causes of the problem away from symptoms.

Another source said tensions were at knife-edge as Zuma made his presentation. “After Zuma’s delivery, Mugabe as the chair felt obliged to comment and that is when he got emotional and spoke at length about the xenophobic attacks,” said the source.

“Mugabe described the video which went viral on social media of a man being burnt alive to death, while blaming Zuma for the attacks and for siding with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and his son Edward, who made remarks allegedly responsible for sparking off xenophobic violence.”

While Mugabe was still talking, Zuma is said to have immediately intervened, saying: “‘Perhaps i should have mentioned this during my presentation, the video you are describing is not recent’.

“Zuma pointed out that it was a video recast and made to appear new by people who wanted to fan xenophobic violence and anger. He said South Africa investigated the matter and the journalist who recorded that video in 1988 before South Africa’s freedom confirmed it happened in the 1980s. He then told Mugabe that the video he saw had nothing to do with the recent events.”

On the issue of siding with Zwelithini and his son, Zuma reportedly said he had spoken to Zwelithini about it who denied having said things reported in the media.

“Zuma said as for his son he strongly castigated him over his behaviour but indicated that a priest does not always bear a child who is a priest,” a source said.
Zuma also said the Mozambican national, initially identified as Emmanuel Sithole, who was stabbed in Alexandra township in Johannesburg on April 18 was not a victim of xenophobia, but crime and arrests had been made. He also told the meeting “Sithole” was an illegally immigrant whose real name was Emmanuel Josias even if his killing was gruesome and unacceptable.

Pictures of “Sithole” being stabbed to death went viral on social media after South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper story on April 19. The attack was deemed xenophobic, although Zuma insisted it was criminal.

He also said of the seven people who died during the xenophobic attacks, three were South Africans but media portrayed it as if all were foreigners to reinforce its xenophobia plot.

Sources said while Zuma confronted Mugabe on video issue, the Sadc chair as host and moderator remained quiet and did not respond as tempers flared.
“After Zuma’s intervention, Mugabe remained silent and one could feel tensions rising. Perhaps he could not comment further as he did not have evidence that the video was recent and besides he was the host and the chair,” said another source.

After the Zuma-Mugabe battle, Khama is said to have then joined the fray supporting Zuma, saying instead of focusing on xenophobia issues Sadc leaders must address the root causes of the problem that include bad leadership and economic mismanagement which trigger waves of mostly illegal immigrants.

“Khama said leaders were then better informed, thanks to President Zuma. He said, ‘Let us addres real issues and stop behaving as if South Africa is an employment bureau for the African continent’,” the source said.

“Khama went further to say ‘it is because of some of us who have mismanaged our own economies that we have an influx of foreigners into South Africa’.”
Without waiting for a response from Mugabe and others, Khama got up and immediately left the meeting at 2:14pm for the airport returning home, leaving Sadc leaders reeling from his stinging remarks.

Khama did not even wait for the Sadc group photograph as usual. Sadc leaders then ended the meeting at 3pm.

Sources said Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi also supported Zuma, saying the issue should be dealt with at continental level, not by South Africa only.
But to the other delegates’ surprise, Mugabe later told journalists he did not believe Zuma’s explanation the video was old.

“Although the South Africans say it (the video) happened in the 1980s long ago, not recently, we thought it was recent and we are still convinced it happened recently,” said Mugabe to laughter from the audience.

However, as Mugabe then castigated Zimbabweans for flooding South Africa, showing his underlying negative attitude towards local immigrants and those in diaspora.


  • comment-avatar

    Ok that s true i economy yethu ayivuke

  • comment-avatar

    As long as SADC & African leaders put the overly selfish interests (mainly driven by greedy & wickedness) of the leaders ahead of those of majority citizenry then Africa remains a dark continent & the savagery can only get worse. I believe this is a wake-up call.

    But knowing our African leaders, they have since phoned each other “nicodemously” & vowed never again to publicly embarrass each other.

    So, we know for sure when similar incidents happen in future no any other leaders butcher their people forcing them to run to SA, Zuma or any other SA leader wont lift a finger. In fact, they will as usual gang up against any other non-African voices & call them all kinds of unpleasant names.

    So, we have a Mafia group of leadership in Africa. Never driven by principles – to them its a matter of scratching or patting each other’s backs; or tit-for-tat. The recent spate was simply tit-for-tat event & necessarily a shift in behaviours and/or thinking of our leaders.

    Of course, Khama is an exception. This is a leader who has been consistent & most of us know he means what he says & is driven by principle. Same cant be said of the rest of the leaders.

  • comment-avatar
    JRR56 7 years ago

    MAybe Mugabe should be made aware off all those who were in oposition and have died or disappeared. Zimbabwe and Malawi must be the most unlucky counries to have such “dunces” as presidents.

    • comment-avatar

      I find it very preposterous, each time Mugabe opens his mouth to joke on serious issues, pedo,please giggle just to please Mugabe instead of ruling him out of topic, and back to business.
      It would appear Mugabe and his delegation enjoy attending such coferences. These meetings add no value to anybody other than talk & laugh shops. Since 1980, numerous conferences have been the main business of Mugabe and his entourages, bringing back files that have been filed to gather dust whilst they are busy checking the in tray for more opportunies to forthcoming events.
      The issue of xenophobic attacks, instead of being taken seriously, the zanu cabal finds it a easy just to laugh it away. If this is not lack of vision, I don’t know what it is. Is this another joke like vote rigging, stealing, land grabbing, torturing , murdering political opponents, ablution, like the current case of Itai Dzamara, killing the economy, telling lies (the 2.2 million jobs), the list goes on and on…..service under delivery in all sectorrs.
      I ha maimboti wani, tichagutsa vanhu vose nuvufumi bwe Zimbabwe. What really went wrong, kaka was chezuro me hope here kana kuti maitinyepera henyu muchida kudya Mari deduct muhondo. God will judge you, He is waiting for you to account for every idle word you said .

  • comment-avatar
    Heeeeei 7 years ago

    Can someone tell me why the Angolan leader does not attend SADC meetings? Could he be that he cannot stand the nonsense that come from his colleagues?

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 7 years ago


  • comment-avatar

    Tjingababili, in as much as you would want shonaphobia let me warn you,
    1) You are too few to implement that
    2) Chaos once started might difficult to eand
    Please behave like an adult, if you are one.

  • comment-avatar
    wensil 7 years ago

    Khama must be annoyed to see leaders like Mugabe who don’t care at all about their countries. The fact that he is 91 and wants to continue ruling alone shows how selfish the guy is.
    He doesn’t care whether factories close as long he himself can fly overseas for medical treatments and holidays and claim substantive allowances. Meanwhile the population will be suffering but for that’s for the neighbours to deal with.

  • comment-avatar
    wensil 7 years ago

    @Tjingababili, don’t go to Mugabe’s level otherwise you risk ending up being like him. He has said so many bad things about so many people and that’s him. I am sure you don’t want to go there.

  • comment-avatar
    Saved Sibanda 7 years ago

    It is sad to note that Zimbabweans preferred to suffer because of one demented tribalistic Mugabe. its high time some people from his place realize that Zimbabwe is not Mugabe. People of Zimbabwe are Zimbabwe, and get rid of this stupid leader who doesnt care about his own people.

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 7 years ago

    “Sadc leaders must address the root causes of the problem that include bad leadership and economic mismanagement which trigger waves of mostly illegal immigrants.” Very true but one wonders if it will ever happen.
    The problem these leaders are covering up for each other why is there no court on the continent to bring to book those who have failed their people, stolen from the coffers etc. if they do not want to go to an International Court the Charles Taylor way?

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 7 years ago

    “Zuma then presented his issue in point form, saying the details would be included in his report on xenophobia to Sadc, African Union and the United Nations.”

    Still feel the United Nations should head an inquiry with organisations who represent these people who try to seek a better life elsewhere onboard – the human rights organisations should put pressure to have this inquiry and then made public

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 7 years ago

    “He said, ‘Let us addres real issues and stop behaving as if South Africa is an employment bureau for the African continent’,” the source said.”
    Not only South Africa is an employment bureau for the African continent the rest of the world is also an employment bureau for the African continent because africa has failed its people

  • comment-avatar
    Rockstone 7 years ago

    The sentiments shared by president Ian Khama &president Jacob Zuma that some other african leaders should resolve their economic situation & promote good governance to avoid influx of their citizens into south africa; I dont think they expressed sentiments whole heartedly ,these are the same african leaders who frequently endorse flawed and rigged elections .Today the once bread basket of Africa (Zimbabwe ‘s economy had been plugged into debris) ,this is mainly because 1, misrule and bad governance,2 the so called TROIKERS & SADC LEADERS ,are supporting the oppressive systems induced by their fellow tyrants in the name of pan afrcanism,now Pan africanism bears influx of foreigners into south africa & other fortunate countries , influx of foreign nationals will then bear cheap labour exploitation , & cheap exploitation will finally resuts in afro phobia ,the final result will be global out cry. So SADC AND AU LEADERS are also catalytic in situations like these .Last time we heard of mr Ian Khama was 20013 Zimbabwe rigging of elections , the only qualified soldier in Botswana ,Khama vowed not to participate in SADC SUMMITS , im now astonished to hear of his utterance at the recent SADC SUMMIT ,what are his real stance on these continuous fiasic which are rampaging his continent and fellow neighbours?.

  • comment-avatar

    As zimbabweans we have suffered a lot because of Thabo Mbeki and President Zuma. When they endorse the 2013 rigged elections they new that many zimbabweans will flock to South Africa. Tsvangirai cried many times about Mugabe rigging the elections not even a single african president sided with him the only thing that they did is to send Thokozama Zuma and Obasanjo to come to zimbabwe and mock us. What a shame now its a problem to South African people they start to complain during the boring Sadc meetings. This continent has fools that’s why whites they take advantage of us because of our stupit thinking. Zuma stops Zindiwe Zulu when she was complaining about the preparations of elections in zimbabwe and I wonder why is he complaining to Sadc about many migrates flocking to his country. President zuma is corrupt together with his fellow African president and I’m sure south africa is benefiting a lot from zimbabwe that’s why they keep on supporting mugabe. Remember what goes around comes around the same fat will come to south africa one day. I don’t blame mugabe for all these problems I blame first the corrupt governments of sadc especially south africa during the time of thabo mbeki. The people of zimbabwe have rejected mugabe long ago back in 2002 and african leaders they know the truth but refused to speak openly about that. They are jerous that if zimbabwe return to its normal state their economic will fall. Let’s pray as zimbabweans that only one day will be delivered from this evil man. All zimbabweans that are outside its not your fault to be where you are only God will deliver us from evil people. Thank you Gari

  • comment-avatar

    Africa is full with bad leaders all these presidents knew very well that we as zimbabweans we have rejected this old evil man long ago I wonder when I hear that these guys are attending the meetings which was chaired by mugabe. Zuma and Khama you must not complain when tsvanfirai won the elections no one supported him to remove this evil man all of you you didn’t do anything instead Mbeki negoated a unit government knowing very well that tsvangirai will never rule he wanted his evil friend mugabe to continue ruling and zimbabweans suffering now we are migrating to your countries and your people are now suffering you start to complain not long ago you endorse the rigged elections and what did you do after that you keep on support this mugabe yes we rejected him but you support so why are you complaining when we flock to you countries. You can kill us but the truth is that as zimbabweans we didn’t want to come to your country the reason why we are in your country you are supporting a loosing candidate because we have voted him out and the person that we chose you don’t want him to rule so its your problem not ours remove mugabe you will not see us in your countries. Thank you Garikai

  • comment-avatar

    Mugabe, Khama and Zuma were all saying the same thing. Dear Mr Khama, you are one of the African leaders who have done absolutely nothing to improve the available resources in African countries, what have you done to improve the country of Botswana, are there any industries that you created in your country? we knew it from long back that Botswana lakes industries and what have you done to improve that? Now we hear complains from your people that there is a shortage of water and electricity in your country, why is that happening if you are such a good leader? Those diamond mines that you are exhausting don’t think they will come back again, Botswana is just a desert with roads that are full of potholes, thank God for the small population that is easy to feed, otherwise you should have been the worst of all presidents. Your beef with Mugabe is from the fact that you are gay and you hate Mugabe’s policies against gay people, go and f**ck your own son and satisfy your feelings and leave Mugabe alone.