Southern Africa: SADC Leaders Urged to Follow Botswana Lead Over Disputed Zim Polls | Alex Bell
Leaders in the Southern African region have been urged to follow the lead of Botswana’s President Ian Khama in condemning Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections as neither fair nor credible.
In an interview aired on Botswana’s national television station, BTV, Khama said the Zim elections were neither free nor fair. He also announced that Botswana will no longer participate in any SADC election observer missions, because the leadership bloc appears to have let Zimbabwe “off the hook”. The Botswana President insisted that the elections were never fair, and that the rules that govern democratic elections in Southern African were not followed in Zimbabwe’s case.
"SADC has set itself guidelines for the conduct of free and fair elections… And in Zim, we sent 80 plus or so observers and almost every one of them said there were irregularities in that election, and there were. I am convinced of it," Khama said.
He added: “So, the point was just to say that we must fix the problem because if the guidelines were violated and you create that precedent in Zimbabwe, then it means the next election, because Zimbabwe is going to have elections again, they are likely to repeat the same irregularities. So, do we say Zimbabwe is an exception to the SADC guidelines?”
Khama’s comments fly in the face of SADC’s endorsement of Zimbabwe’s elections, which have also been disputed by the opposition MDCs in Zimbabwe, civil society groups and regional observer teams present during the polls.
FULL ARTICLE (SW Radio Africa)