Botswana’s President Ian Khama is now the new chairman of the SADC Heads of State and boy-oh-boy is he a man on a mission. He said he wanted the region “to be a beacon for democracy for Africa, and blasted leaders who cling to power”.
Whenever old dry bones are mentioned in a proverb the old will not sit easy. President Khama’s speech must have caused a stream of ice cold sweat to run down Mugabe’s spine from the base of his neck right down into his pants!
There is no love lost between President Ian Khama and Robert Mugabe. Whilst many other African leaders have allowed themselves to be hoodwinked by Mugabe’s anti-white rhetoric, to President Khama the rhetoric has been water of a duck’s back.
When all the other African leaders turned a blind eye to Mugabe’s blatant vote rigging of the July 2013 Zimbabwe national elections, for example, the Botswana President was the only one who flatly refused to endorse the elections as free and fair.
When Mugabe went to Botswana for the SADC meeting his top priority was to kiss and make up with the incoming chairman; he turned on his charm offensive to the max! He picked his favourite theme, anti-white; it has always worked wonders for him in the past.
In his speech as outgoing SADC chairman, Mugabe told the story of how the Botswana President’s father, Sir Seretse Khama, had been a victim of South African white racism because he had married a white woman.
Now people can see why there was a river of ice cold sweat running down Mugabe’s spine; his flattery did not have any effect on President Khama. Here was a man on a mission to rid the region of dictators and was not going to allow himself to be so easily distracted or deterred.
President Khama slated Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza whose country has been plunged into violence after he decided to run for a third-term although the country’s constitution limited the number of terms to a maximum of two terms.
Mugabe’s view on fixed maximum number of terms is that there should be no such constitutional stipulations. “It is a democracy, if people want a leader to continue, let him continue,” Mugabe said.
President Ian Khama did not address this myth of rigged elections being passed as free, fair and credible elections on this occasion but we all know what he thought of Mugabe’s 2013 rigged elections! Zimbabwe a “democracy”, right!
Mugabe is an incompetent, corrupt and murderous tyrant who has destroyed Zimbabwe’s once healthy and prosperous economy forcing unemployment to soar to the dizzying height of 90% plus and the nation to be so impoverished it cannot supply something as basic as clean running water. Millions of Zimbabweans are leaving in abject poverty whilst millions have been forced to leave the country as political and/or economic refugees!
Mugabe has not just ruined Zimbabwe but the whole region too because the political and economic chaos in Zimbabwe has spilt over into the rest of SADC and beyond!
It is right and proper that at least one SADC leader should have the vision to see the tragic suffering dictators are causing to millions of our people and to have the courage to take this scourge head-on.
President Ian Khama, the people of Zimbabwe and SADC salute you and wish you all the success in your mission to make SADC the beacon of democracy and good governance. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you!
Wiibert Mukori: Nehanda Radio