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Botswana 'breaks ranks with SADC, AU'

27 January 2014, 14:07

Cape Town – Botswana President Ian Khama has reportedly said his country will not participate in future SADC election observer missions after he noted what he says were irregularities in Zimbabwe’s disputed 31 July elections.

Khama criticised both the African Union and SADC for not pointing out the irregularities in last year’s Zimbabwe harmonised polls and accused the blocs of endorsing the elections even though they were not fair.

According to The Sunday Mail Khama said he was convinced that the elections which were won by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party were neither free nor fair.

Khama said the SADC observer statement only noted the elections were free and peaceful and never used the word “fair”, the reason why Botswana asked for an audit of the vote.

Zanu-PF has in the past dismissed as "thoroughly stupid" Botswana’s demand for an audit on the 31 July elections.

Asked whether he was comfortable with Botswana being the only African country calling for an audit of the Zimbabwean election, Khama said he was “very comfortable”, adding he would sleep better at night knowing he had taken that stance.

Election guidelines

The Botswana leader said his country sent 80 plus observers to Zimbabwe and almost every one of them agreed there were irregularities in that election.

He said that SADC’s alleged failure to deal with Zimbabwe would give rise to a situation where other countries will flout the bloc’s election guidelines.

Khama also disclosed that he was against the AU resolution that called for the non-indictment of sitting heads of state at the International Criminal Court (ICC) if they have committed crimes that deserve to be tried.

The AU last year resolved that no sitting African head of state should be tried in international courts.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Sudanese leader Omar-al Bashir are some of the African leaders who have been indicted by the ICC.

- News24


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