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

On Everest, Helicopters Rescue Stranded Climbers

Choppers transport some of more than 100 mountaineers trapped after deadly quake, avalanches More

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

In 2005, a Paris suburb exploded into violence after two teenagers were electrocuted as they hid from police; since then, somethings have changed, others not More

US, Japan Announce Historic Revision of Defense Cooperation Guidelines

Nations say new guidelines will be 'cornerstone for peace and security' in Asia-Pacific region while also serving as 'platform for a more stable international security environment' More

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!!!!!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europei
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 26, 2015 10:36 PM
Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video ‘Angel of the Migrants’ Helps Desperate Syrians Arriving in Europe

Waves of migrants are continuing to arrive on the shores of southern Italy from North Africa. After their dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, they face an unknown future in Europe. In the Sicilian city of Catania there is an activist dedicated to helping the refugees on their journey.
Video

Video Ten Years After Riots, France Searches for Answers to Neglected Suburbs

January’s terrorist attacks and fears of more to come are casting a spotlight on France’s neglected suburbs. Home to many immigrants, and sometimes hubs of crime, they were rocked by rioting a decade ago. Lisa Bryant visited the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, where the 2005 violence first broke out, and has this report about what has changed and what has not.
Video

Video Gay Marriage Goes Before US Supreme Court

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether gay people have a constitutional right to marriage. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the case could lead to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, or a continuation of the status quo in which individual states decide whether to recognize gay unions.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

VOA Blogs