Botswana’s Khama Says Zimbabwe Instability Concern for Region

Straight-talking Botswana President Ian Khama has called on Zimbabwe to adopt democratic reforms that will guarantee a credible election, which he says is necessary for regional stability.

Mr. Khama told the press in Gaborone following a meeting with his visiting Zambian counterpart, Michael Sata on Monday that the turbulent political situations in Zimbabwe and Madagascar did not bode well for peace in the region.

He said the two countries should emulate Zambia which conducted a vote overwhelmingly approved by observers last year. The incumbent, Rupiah Banda conceded to Mr. Sata and left office without resistance or violence.

“It’s my profound hope that Madagascar and Zimbabwe will deliver credible elections whenever they are held,” Khama said. “We only wish they can conduct elections like Zambia… without the accompanying violence leading to instability.”

Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo told VOA regional leaders should adopt tough measures that will pressure Mugabe and his ZANU PF party to conduct a democratic election without the kind of violence that marred the 2008 vote.

President Robert Mugabe has threatened to force an election this year even without a new constitution and democratic reforms demanded by the Movement for Democratic Change. VOA