The diplomatic spat between Zimbabwe
and Botswana took another twist after Gaborone demanded a thorough
investigation into the core issues surrounding the political crisis in Zimbabwe
ahead of the Southern African Development community (SADC) meeting Monday. The
SADC meeting is expected to be a last-ditch attempt by leaders in the Southern
African region to salvage the stalled power sharing agreement between
Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party and the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change. Gaborone Sunday called for Monday's crisis
summit to go to the core of the issues that have prevented the formation of a
unity government in Zimbabwe and resolve Harare's economic meltdown. Diplomatic relations between Harare and Gaborone have been
frosty after Zimbabwe accused Botswana of interfering in its internal affairs. Political
analyst George Mkwananzi told VOA Gaborone seems to be the only voice of reason
in the sub-region.
is quite refreshing that this time around we are going to have the presence of
the government of Botswana, which has been acting as a voice of reason in this
whole matter where the majority of the SADC leaders have been sort of afraid to
confront Mugabe and tell him the truth about the core of the Zimbabwe crisis,"
said it was unfortunate for President Mugabe to be accusing Gaborone of
political interference when Botswana has been siding with the ordinary
think it would be hypocritical of the government of Mugabe to start pointing
fingers at Botswana and complaining about political interference because that is
the hallmark of being in communities such as SADC where members have the right
to intervene where they think that the rights of a member state, particularly,
the citizens of such a member state are being violated. So, it is really being
hypocritical on the part of the ZANU-PF to complain about Botswana's stance,"
said he supports Botswana's call for Harare to be prevented from participating
in any SADC meetings concerning the Southern African region.
think the call for the prevention of Zimbabwe to sit in the SADC summit by
Botswana then was in the context of giving one of the belligerents in the
crisis of Zimbabwe that is ZANU-PF an undue advantage over the rivals in this
case the MDC formation. I think this time around, if Robert Mugabe is going to
be there then it is perhaps because Botswana or the head of government of
Botswana realizes the fact that it would be necessary to let Mugabe get it loud
and clear from member states that certain things that have delayed and caused
this impasse have to be communicated directly to him (Mugabe), and he must get
this message without any equivocation," Mkwananzi pointed out.
described as baseless Harare's accusation that Gaborone is harboring MDC
militants who seek to overthrow Mugabe's administration through military means.
start with, it is important that up to this point in time, Zimbabwe has been
unable to corroborate these allegations and prove that indeed such a scheme is
in existence. And also the fact that the head of SADC at the moment who is the
president of South Africa, President Kgalema Motlanthe dismissed these things
as false it also means that Zimbabwe cannot continue to pander to that kind of
allegation with credibility. So, they won't be able to win any Botswana
has often accused President Mugabe's government of abdicating its
responsibilities to the detriment of the ordinary Zimbabwean who it said has
been saddled with shortage of food and diseases.
also accused Mugabe of fraudulently clinging to power after a controversial
second round of voting after both the ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change failed to garner the needed votes to with the
first round of voting.
also accused Botswana of harboring militants who Harare claims have been
plotting to overthrow Mugabe's administration.
the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has accused President
Robert Mugabe's administration of failing to fully implement the power-sharing