News / Africa

    Botswana Urges SADC to Investigate Zimbabwe Election

    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses a media conference at State house in Harare, July 30, 2013.
    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses a media conference at State house in Harare, July 30, 2013.
    Peter Clottey
    Botswana has called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to investigate Zimbabwe’s general election after opposition groups rejected the outcome of the vote.

    Botswana sent an 80-member poll watching group to monitor last Wednesday’s election in Zimbabwe.

    “While they found that the election was free of violence and intimidation, and that indeed voting was peaceful, they also did raise a number of other issues about the process, particularly to do with the voters roll, and the ability of people to vote,” said Jeff Ramsay, Botswana’s information minister. “We are proposing that an independent audit should be undertaken [by] SADC itself, so that there is a way of assessing the situation for lessons moving forward.”

    Ramsay says Botswana looks forward to hearing a response to its request from the regional bloc as heads of state and government in the region plan to meet at a SADC summit later this month in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.

    “This thing should not be seen as a division between us and either the government or the people of Zimbabwe,” he said, “but rather us expressing our perspective on the way forward in dealing with some of the questions that were raised about the electoral process.”

    Botswana’s call for an investigation comes a day after South African President Jacob Zuma congratulated Robert Mugabe for winning Zimbabwe’s presidential election with 61 percent of the total votes.

    Some analysts say Botswana’s call could spark a diplomatic row with neighboring Zimbabwe.

    But, Ramsay disagreed, saying his country’s inquiry call was not aimed at creating a diplomatic spat with President Robert Mugabe’s administration.

    “We certainly hope not [and] that is not our purpose, but we believe that we have to stick by the principles of which we are governed by,” said Ramsay. “To us, it’s not just about Zimbabwe. It’s about the region as a whole, upholding the principles and the frameworks which we’ve agreed to. And at the same time [that] we’ve called for an audit, we have cited some circumstances which create doubt, but we are not making a final judgment on the matter.” 

    Ramsay also cautioned that his country’s call should not be seen as a sign of divisions within the ranks of the 15-member Southern African regional bloc.

    “We are not challenging the free and peaceful [SADC assessment] we are concerned about other issues to do with transparency, credibility and fairness,” said Ramsay. “By calling for an audit we are basically calling for those issues to be treated with the seriousness that they deserve, not simply for what has happened, but as SADC maintaining its principles.”  

    Ramsay says he is hopeful that Zimbabweans will see his country’s stand as a positive development.

    “We do commend the people of Zimbabwe, including all the parties concerned, for the orderly manner in which they conducted themselves during the election day and in that respect we trust and believe that that peace will continue,” he said.
    Clottey interview with Dr.Jeff Ramsay, Botswana’s information minister
    Clottey interview with Dr.Jeff Ramsay, Botswana’s information ministeri
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Tyu from: Mozambique
    August 08, 2013 3:06 AM
    As much as everyone has an opinion on what they think, In this case there is a real flaw in this comment from Botswana. The job of peace, procedure is what monitors come for and should be limited to that. Any other issue that site irregularities these can be handled by the Zimbabwean courts and all these provisions are there in the Zimbabwean constitution. All of us, MDC know where the courts are.

    We decided on should lead us for the next five years and we have spoken through the ballot. Remember the SADC economy is run by product of Zimbabwean education. We will hit the first as well as the first successful economy run and owned by Zimbabweans. America. Obama and Botswana follow the news in the next ten years

    by: Tawanda from: Harare
    August 06, 2013 5:53 AM
    Everyone here in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa is fully aware of whose tune Ian Khama sings to and his assessment of the Zimbabwe polls come s as no surprise. In fact Botswana has a history stretching from the pre-colonial period of actively collaborating with imperialism. While Zimbabwe resisted the establishment of colonial rule during the first chimurenga, Khama`s ancestors sought a protector-ship from the British. Importantly Tswana`s aided the pioneer column`s invasion of Zimbabwe by providing carrier boys for Rhodes` invading party. It is quite disheartening that in the 21st Century you still have an African country that actively tolls the imperial agenda.

    by: Proudly Zimbabwean from: Harare
    August 06, 2013 1:23 AM
    Who does Botswana think it is? Let it (Botswana never dream as if Zimbabwe is run from Botswana, we fought for this country, and people vote for whom they want. Oh, you were looking for your freind Tsvangirai to win, puppets does not have room in Zimbabwean politics, always remember ZIMBABWE WILL NEVER BE A COLONY AGAIN!!!!!!!

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora