With President Mugabe’s government failing to pay civil servants Zimbabwean activists in the UK have appealed to Botswana and the SADC bloc to “help to avert disaster” in their country. A Zimbabwe Vigil delegation visited the Botswana High Commission in London where they presented a letter to be passed on to President Ian Khama as Chair of the SADC bloc. “In the last 15 years or so Zimbabweans have increasingly looked to Botswana as a model of good governance. We have been comforted that Botswana could always be relied on to speak the truth to President Mugabe – even if it was a lone voice. “We are grateful for your patience in the face of the influx of Zimbabwean refugees and other problems we have caused you as our country’s economy collapsed. You have been a true friend and we will not forget your solidarity with our suffering people,” reads the letter addressed to Khama.
The vigil further “alerts” Khama to “alarming threats by the military in Zimbabwe to employ violence against people opposed to the Zanu PF regime”. “The threats come amid worsening splits in the party (Zanu PF) and rising popular outrage at the demolition of the homes of the poor and the imposition of pre-paid water meters for an unreliable supply. The Commander of the Presidential Guard Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe has threatened force to stop ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru from opposing Mugabe. He told his troops ‘Professionalism is over . . . Zanu PF should rule forever’. The national army commander Lieutenant-General Phillip Sibanda later warned that ‘the Zanu PF axe’ could be wielded again,” the letter says. According to the activists, “provocative moves by the military could cause an explosion of anger” and it is high time for SADC to” prepare to intervene to stop a meltdown.”
Zimbabwe Vigil activists have been protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London for the past 14 years demanding an end to human rights violations and calling for free and fair elections. Since 2008, Botswana has been known to be tough on Mugabe. At one time so bad were the relations between the two countries that foreign affairs ministers openly lambasted each other through the media with Gaborone accusing Harare of human rights violations. SADC leaders are not known to criticise each other publicly nor do they ever interfere on each other’s domestic affairs. [masasi.co.zw]