Botswana ready for possible flow of Zim refugees

SHARE   |   Monday, 20 November 2017   |   By Shingirai Madondo
Botswana ready for possible flow of Zim refugees

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is reportedly bracing up for a possible influx of asylum seekers from the neighbouring Zimbabwe caused by the political turmoil. The Zimbabwean military seized state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) television station on Tuesday and blocked off access to government offices in the capital, Harare. In a televised address early on Wednesday, Major General Sibusiso Moyo, said the army was seeking to “pacify a degenerating, social, and economic situation” in the country.  Moyo denied that the army was carrying out a coup against government and said Mugabe and his family were “safe and sound and their safety is guaranteed.” Moyo described the development, as a move aimed at purging criminals around Mugabe. Reacting to the political upheaval in Zimbabwe, South African president Jacob Zuma quickly dispatched a team to the Zimbabwe after Mugabe was placed under house arrest at his Borrowdale home in Harare. Reports emerging from Harare have indicated that the army and the South African delegation held a closed door meeting at the State House in a bid to persuade Mugabe to relinquish power. However, Mugabe did not give in. Informed sources in Harare have suggested that the world’s longest serving leader is refusing to resign, as sources suggested the veteran leader is buying time to negotiate his long overdue exit.

It is against this backdrop that Mugabe’s refusal to relinquish power coupled by bitter succession battle with the rank and file of the ruling ZANU PF could degenerate into a civil strife. With the potential of the Zimbabwean political crisis over spilling into Botswana territories, information reaching this publication is that the NDMO held an emergency meeting District Commissioners (DCs) manning border districts on Thursday in Gaborone. According to informed sources, the emergency meeting was aimed at ensuring that DCs are made ready for an eventuality emanating from the Zimbabwean political crisis. “Definitely, we are taking certain measures. And the Thursday meeting was the starting point. We have been ordered to intensify these preparations,” said one District Commissioner who did not want to be named. Informed sources added that tents have been taken to strategic points, especially in the northeastern part of the country in preparation for the eventuality. Efforts to get a comment from the Director of NMDO, Moagi Baleseng proved futile, as he refused to be drawn into discussing the matter and referred this writer to the Ministry of Foreign and International Cooperation.  

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