Mmegi Online :: Zimbabwe rebukes Botswana's stand on elections
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Last Updated
Monday 15 October 2018, 15:57 pm.
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Zimbabwe rebukes Botswana's stand on elections

HARARE: Zimbabwe's Minister of Information and Publicity, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, says his country will not be moved by criticism from Botswana, saying President Robert Mugabe's government will only listen to the collective voice of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
By Staff Writer Mon 15 Oct 2018, 18:14 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Zimbabwe rebukes Botswana's stand on elections








Briefing journalists, he said Zimbabwe appreciates constructive criticism from any quarter, but insisted that because Botswana did not fight a liberation struggle, the country's leadership may not properly appreciate British and the West's machinations against Zimbabwe.

"We appreciate positive criticism from anyone, including our neighbours such as Botswana," said Ndlovu.

"But Botswana did not fight a war to liberate themselves from colonialism and so we feel that we as Zimbabweans experience Western machinations more than they," the Minister said.

Botswana, together with Zambia, has in recent weeks criticised the Zimbabwe government over the way it conducted its 27 June presidential election run-off.

Mugabe won 85 percent of the vote in that election after Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the mainstream formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party withdrew from the race, citing violence and intimidation of his supporters.

Botswana has declared that it does not recognise President Mugabe's election. But Ndlovu claimed that SADC supports President Mugabe's government and would only heed the regional bloc's collective advice.

"Botswana is not SADC," Ndlovu said. "We listen to the collective voice from SADC. SADC has not

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voiced Botswana's claims. We know that in SADC we are not the same, because Britain and America are trying to influence some of our neighbours against us," said the minister.

But on the eve of the run-off election the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security met in Swaziland and raised concerns over the pre-election conditions and called on the postponement of the poll.

On talks between President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and both factions of MDC, Ndlovu said his party is committed to dialogue.

The MDC and ZANU-PF have since last year, been holding SADC-initiated dialogue to break the political impasse. South Africa's President, Thabo Mbeki, is mediating in the dialogue.

Over the past weekend, Mbeki was in Harare for what was supposed to be the first face-to-face meeting between President Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, who is the leader of the other MDC faction.

Mutambara, attended but Tsvangirai boycotted the meeting after raising objections over its venue at President Mugabe's offices at Zimbabwe House.

The opposition leader also said talks would only resume after the cessation of politically motivated violence targeting his supporters.

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