HomeLocal NewsMugabe turns to Khama for support

Mugabe turns to Khama for support


President Robert Mugabe is seeking the support of his old foe President Ian Khama of Botswana in his push for the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to accept his plans to call for elections without reforms.

Mugabe sent Vice-President John Nkomo to Gaborone last week to plead with Khama ahead of a special Sadc meeting this week.

Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa went to Angola and State Security minister Sidney Sekeremayi to Zambia and Tanzania on a similar mission.

Nkomo was reportedly accompanied by a delegation of 11, which drove to the Botswana capital for 10 hours from Harare.

He did not have time to cool his feet, it was all done in a hurry, a source told the Mmegi newspaper on Friday.

Khamas spokesperson Maleta Mogwe confirmed the meeting, but refused to disclose contents of the message from Mugabe.

Special envoys do not share their information with any other person except the person they have been sent to, Mogwe said. They do not even hold Press conferences.

So what they discussed remains between them.
It remains to be seen if Mugabe would able to sway Khama who was the first African leader to reject the Zanu PF leaders controversial re-election in 2008.

On many occasions, the former soldier has also broken ranks with African leaders in condemning undemocratic governments on the continent.

Mugabe says the inclusive government he formed after the disputed 2008 presidential election is no longer working.

But his opponents say he cannot call for elections before crucial reforms including a new constitution are concluded.

Zambian President Michael Satas election last year gave Mugabe a new supporter among regional leaders seen growing impatient over his reluctance to reform.

The 88-year-old Zimbabwean leader ran unchallenged in the 2009 runoff presidential elections after the front runner MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai (now Prime Minister) was forced to drop out due to violence targeted at his supporters.

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