Botswana’s president calls on Mugabe to resign

21 November 2017 - 15:55 By Nico Gous
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File photo.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

The president of Botswana on Tuesday called on Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe to “do the honourable thing” and resign.

“If you really care for [Zimbabweans]‚ as you profess‚ and if you cannot find it in you to do so‚ then as a Christian‚ do so in the spirit of our Lord‚ in order to usher in a new period going forward of unity‚ peace and prosperity for Zimbabweans‚ and allow your country to be the economic powerhouse it is capable of being‚” President Seretse Khama Ian Khama wrote in an open letter to Mugabe posted on the Botswana government’s Facebook page:

“My appeal is necessitated by an unprecedented situation currently unfolding in Zimbabwe‚ whereby your own party‚ Zanu-PF‚ is calling for your immediate resignation and is in the process of instituting impeachment.”

Khama added that Zimbabweans have been subject to “untold suffering” for a long time due to poor governance under Mugabe’s leadership.

He said that Mugabe’s resignation would “usher in a new political dispensation that will pave the way for the much needed socioeconomic recovery in Zimbabwe”.

Zimbabwe’s ousted vice-president‚ Emmerson Mnangagwa‚ on Tuesday also called on Mugabe to resign: “The people of Zimbabwe have clearly spoken on this matter. To me‚ the voice of the people is the voice of God‚ and their lack of trust and confidence in the leadership of President Mugabe has been expressed.”

Mnangagwa said if Mugabe resigned‚ “the country can move forward and preserve his legacy”.

Zanu-PF said on Monday night that at least 230 of its 260 MPs said they would vote in support of the motion to impeach Mugabe.

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu sent former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda‚ 93‚ to try to convince Mugabe to step down.

“Dr Kaunda used the presidential jet and has already arrived in Harare‚” a senior Zambian government source told Reuters on Monday.

- Additional reporting by Ray Ndlovu and Reuters