PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s government on Wednesday accused Botswanan President Ian Khama of interference and said his call for fresh elections to solve Zimbabwe’s political crisis was an “act of extreme provocation”.
Khama, who is President Mugabe’s staunch critic, told Botswana’s parliament on Monday that an election was the only way out of the deadlock that threatens to derail a power-sharing deal between President Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
“The statement he has made to his country is an act of extreme provocation to Zimbabwe,” Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted as saying in the Herald newspaper.
“He has no right under international law as an individual or country to interfere in our domestic affairs.”
The diplomatic row occurred just days before the Southern African Development Community, a 15-nation regional bloc, was scheduled to hold an emergency summit in South Africa to discuss the political stalemate in Zimbabwe.
A smaller Sadc grouping of the troika – the Organ for Politics, Defence and Security – meeting in Harare in October failed to break the political deadlock.
President Mugabe and the leaders of the opposition MDC agreed on September 15 to share power, but talks have stalled over control of the ministry of Home Affairs.
Setting up a unity government is seen as critical to reversing an economic meltdown in the southern African nation.
Zimbabweans are struggling to survive amid widespread shortages of meat, milk and other basic commodities as a result of the collapse of the agricultural sector.
ÂPost published in: News