Botswana president calls for fresh Zim elections

Botswana President Ian Khama on Friday accused Zimbabwe’s long-time leader Robert Mugabe of failing to honour a power-sharing deal and called for fresh elections in the troubled nation.

Khama, Africa’s most vocal critic of Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party, said in a State of the Nation address that new elections would end the political feuding that has handicapped the unity government in Harare.

“I must here, however, express concern at the continued failure of Zanu-PF to fully honour the spirit of the power-sharing agreement,” Khama said.

“In the absence of genuine partnership it would be better for all parties to go back to the people, for they are the ultimate authority to determine who should form the government of Zimbabwe.”

“There can be no substitution for free, fair and credible elections, where people in any country should be allowed to elect representatives of their choice,” Khama said, in his first state of the nation since winning last month’s general elections.

Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a unity government last year, but the power-sharing deal has been hobbled by disputes over key appointments and arrests of members of the premier’s party.

The unity government is meant to oversee the drafting of a new Constitution that will guide Zimbabwe toward new polls.—AFP

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