I asked Mugabe to retire – Mogae

 President Mugabe and Mr Mogae
Former Botswana president Festus Mogae has said he asked Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to retire and if he and other southern African leaders had their way, Mugabe should have retired 10 years ago.

If we had our way, president Mugabe would have retired 10 yeas ago, and would have retired a hero, but unfortunately he chose the other way, Mr Mogae told journalists in Gaborone after winning the 2008 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership on Monday. He said he has been frustrated with Mr Mugabe’s long stay in power, which has resulted in economic and political collapse in Zimbabwe.

Under Mr Mogae, Botswana was criticised for adopting the discredited see-no-evil, hear-no-evil approach to the Zimbabwe issue in what has been described as silent diplomacy. The ex-Botswana president retired last April after exhausting his constitutional two-term limit to give way to Vice-President Ian Khama.

After winning the Mo Ibrahim Prize, Mr Mogae called on African leaders to embrace transparency and accountability in governance. He urged the leaders to follow sound macro-economic planning and prudent financial management. He told the leaders to respect the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

He said that democracies must allow for multiparty systems and free and fair elections.

He appealed to African leaders to listen to the their peers and citizens. He said Botswana as one of the oldest democracies in Africa, has committed itself to democratic principles though it cannot impose its views on others.

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