By Sunday Oyinloye
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has expressed concern over what it calls ‘insidious comments’ made by President Mokgweetsi Masisi during his recent State visit to Zimbabwe describing the comments as “irresponsible’’
President Masisi had said during the State visit “Botswana continues to call for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe…We just came from our elective congress, and ZANU PF was represented very well. The two ruling parties have relations, we are friends”
Worried by Masisi’s support for a President facing crisis in his country for his disregard for the rule of law and corruption, BCP said President Masisi’s comment does not represent the position of Botswana people.
In a Press Release signed by BCP Information and Publicity Secretary, Mpho M. Pheko, a copy of which was made available to Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable, the party says President Masisi’s visit to Zimbabwe was a State visit adding “we are therefore surprised at the partisan nature of his welcome, which is a foreign practice in the conduct of international relations, especially those of a sovereign nation.
“President Masisi’s attempt to absolve ZANU-PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the Zimbabwean crisis is not only an affront and insult to the suffering people of Zimbabwe, but it is also an attempt to revise history in the most deceptive way. It is similar to convincing us that Idi Amin was an honorable man.”
The party notes that the sanctions against Zimbabwe by some countries are only targeted at designated people in the country who are key members of the Mugabe regime, including Mnangagwa, stressing “how this affects the economy of Zimbabwe is yet to be explained’’
BCP said further “Having noticed decline of democracy and the disregard of the rule of law in Botswana under the BDP government, the BCP hopes that the budding friendship between BDP and ZANU- PF will not further undermine democracy in the two countries”.
According to the BCP, repression of political opponents and intimidation of those that challenge the ZANU- PF regime should be condemned in the strongest possible terms
Instead of focusing on President Mnangagwa’s personal problem of sanctions, BCP suggested the followings to the two leaders: “provision of economic reliefs to Zimbabweans at home to scale down economic migrants in other countries, an end to repressive actions against citizens of Zimbabwe whose only crime is to offer alternative voice and express their democratic rights, solution to the continuing cases of cattle rustling between the two countries and deliberation on democratic reforms that among others, would allow Zimbabweans in diaspora to participate in their country’s electoral processes, without having to cross borders”