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Botswana said it did not recognise Mugabe’s victory

Botswana was one of the first African countries to publicly declare that it did not recognise President Robert Mugabe’s victory in the 2008 elections run-off from which Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai had pulled out because of violence.

Reports by the Southern African Development Community Elections Observer Mission, Pan-African Parliament and African Union Observer Missions had shown that:

  • The pre-election phase was characterised by politically motivated violence, intimidation and displacement of the electorate;
  • The process leading up to the presidential run-off election did not conform to SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections;
  • The atmosphere prevailing in the country did not give rise to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections;
  • The result of the June 27, 2008 run-off election did not represent the will of the people of Zimbabwe; and
  • Conditions should be put in place for the holding of free, fair and credible elections as soon as possible in line with the African Union Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections.

Botswana said as a country that practised democracy and the rule of law, it did not, therefore, recognise the outcome of the presidential election run-off, and would expect other SADC member states to do the same.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08GABORONE552, BOTSWANA’S STATEMENT ON ZIMBABWE JULY 04, 2008

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08GABORONE552

2008-07-07 15:50

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Gaborone

O 071550Z JUL 08

FM AMEMBASSY GABORONE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5108

INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

AMEMBASSY ABUJA

AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA

AMEMBASSY CAIRO

AMEMBASSY HARARE

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

AMEMBASSY PARIS

AMEMBASSY PRETORIA

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS GABORONE 000552

 

 

DEPARTMENT FOR AF AND AF/S

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PGOV AU BC ZI

SUBJECT: BOTSWANA’S STATEMENT ON ZIMBABWE JULY 04, 2008

 

REF: GABORONE 547

 

1. The GOB Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

shared with the Embassy the official statement regarding the GOB’s

position on the outcome of the June 27, 2008 Presidential run-off

election in Zimbabwe.

 

Begin Verbatim Official GOB Text:

 

 

1. The Government of the Republic of Botswana has been following the

events leading to, and the holding of the Presidential run-off

election on June 27, 2008 in the Republic of Zimbabwe.

 

2. During this period, Botswana expressed its concern about the

deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe and made repeated

calls on the authorities in that country to take necessary steps to

ensure a climate conducive to holding free and fair elections.

 

3. The atmosphere prevailing before the run-off election in Zimbabwe

was not conducive to the holding of a free and fair election, given

the escalating acts of violence and intimidation that resulted in

the loss of lives, destruction of property and displacement of

people from their homes. This eventually led to the withdrawal of

the MDC leader, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, from the run-off contest.

 

4. In response, the United Nations Security Council issued a

Presidential Statement on June 23, 2008 condemning the violent

campaign against political opposition in Zimbabwe and expressed

regret that the campaign of violence made it impossible for a free

and fir election to take place.

 

5. In addition, the roika of the SADC Organ, which met in the

Kingdo of Swazilandon June 25, 2008, advised that the corect

course of action under the circumstances wa a postponement of the

run-off election. Thi would have provided an opportunity for all

parties to engage in talks with the aim of finding the best possible

way of resolving their differences.

 

6. Notwithstanding the advice of the United Nations Security Council

and Troika of the SADC Organ, the authorities of Zimbabwe decided to

proceed with an election whose outcome was unlikely to enjoy

credibility and legitimacy, both in the region and internationally.

 

7. This has now come to pass, as the reports of the SADC Elections

Observer Mission, Pan-African Parliament and AU Observer Missions

have shown.

 

8. These reports concluded, amongst others, that;

> the pre-election phase was characterised by politically motivated

violence, intimidation and displacement of the electorate;

> the process leading up to the presidential run-off election did

not conform to SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic

Elections;

> the atmosphere prevailing in the country did not give rise to the

conduct of free, fair and credible elections;

> the result of the June 27, 2008 run-off election did not represent

the will of the people of Zimbabwe; and

> conditions should be put in place for the holding of free, fair

and credible elections as soon as possible in line with the African

Union Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections.

 

9. It is abundantly clear from these findings that the result of the

June 27, 2008 run-off election cannot be accepted, as it violates

the core principles of SADC, the African Union and the United

Nations. As a country that practices democracy and the rule of law,

Botswana does not, therefore, recognize the outcome of the

Presidential run-off election, and would expect other SADC member

states to do the same.

 

10. It is against this background that Botswana urges SADC to assume

its responsibilities by taking proactive steps that are consistent

with its principles and objectives. It is therefore Botswana’s

position that Zimbabwe not be allowed to participate in SADC

meetings until such time that they demonstrate their commitment to

strictly adhere to the organisation’s principles.

 

11. Such steps would enhance the credibility of SADC and provide an

enabling environment for the people of Zimbabwe to find a lasting

solution to the problems that confront them.

 

12. As a way forward, Botswana agrees with the AU position that

mediation efforts should continue. We wish to urge, however, that

such mediation efforts be expedited, given a defined time frame, and

conducted in an atmosphere of mutual trust and good faith, where

both parties are treated as equal partners.

 

End Verbatim Official GOB Text.

 

DROUIN

 

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