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Zim election were not as bad as Khama portrays them, says Botswana opposition

by Staff reporter
11 Aug 2013 at 07:43hrs | Views
Gaborone - The leader of the opposition coalition in Botswana, Duma Boko has dismissed Gaborone's position on the controversial elections in Zimbabwe, saying they were not as flawed as his home government has been claiming. Boko told a news conference in Gaborone that it made little or no sense for Botswana to poke holes on Zimbabwe Electoral process when there are glaring irregularities in his country's electoral system.

Responding to a statement issued by Botswana's Foreign Affairs Minister that there is need for an audit into the just ended Zimbabwe polls, which handed victory to President Robert Mugabe, Boko said his country should first deal with loopholes inherent in her electoral system before lecturing neighbours about how to improve their own.

"Before rubbing Zimbabwe the wrong way by breaking ranks from other countries in the region, Botswana should at first deal with those problems here by introspecting and improve her electoral system," he said. He added: "we can't be acting like we are perfect. We have problems and we must deal with them before pointing fingers at others".

Boko also castigated Western countries for what he called their unreasonable criticism of Zimbabwe, saying they should desist from interfering in African matters and let Africans resolve their problems.

Boko whose ambition is to dislodge the ruling Botswana Democratic Party from power in the 2014 general elections is the leader of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), an opposition coalition, comprising the Botswana National Front, the Botswana People's Party and the Botswana Movement for Democratic Change.

His remarks comes days after Botswana criticized President Mugabe's ruling ZANUPF's handling of last week's polls and called for a review of the votes as the Movement for Democratic Change presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai dismissed the exercise as a charade and claimed widespread vote-rigging and intimidation of opposition supporters.

Gaborone's relation with Harare is set for the worse as Robert Mugabe's party accused Botswana of financing the campaign machinery of the MDC. Quoting unnamed ZANU PF sources, the state-run Herald daily claimed the Botswana government provided material support to the election campaign by the MDC-T led by outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Accusing President Ian Khama's government of a "Monkey-See, Monkey-Do approach", the ZANU PF sources said Botswana was parroting views by the West over the outcome of Zimbabwe's elections won by the party.

"Botswana committed three heinous crimes. It pushed in lots of campaign material in support of the MDC-T. We allowed the material to pass our borders because it was an excellent opportunity to build a case against the Botswana government," one source told the paper.

Khama and his government are yet to react to the allegations.

Source - online