Applaud Botswana President Ian Khama for valid Sadc criticism


The venomous attack on Botswana President Ian Khama in official circles in Zimbabwe demonstrates exactly what is wrong with continental groupings
such as the African Union (AU) and its regional offspring the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).

NewsDay Editorial

The groupings are hamstrung by a phenomenon called groupthink, a culture which ensures that the continent remains stuck in its infamous past as far as governance, electoral democracy and human rights are concerned.

Groupthink is defined as “a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimise conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.”

Khama pointed out two good examples of groupthink which could have a negative bearing on the future of the continent. For that he received the ire of the Zimbabwean government through The Sunday Mail.

Khama, in an interview on Botswana Television, said that his country would no longer be part of future Sadc election observer missions and that sitting heads of state should, contrary to an AU decree, be indicted at the International Criminal Court if they have committed crimes that deserve to be tried
at The Hague.

He criticised both the AU and Sadc for not pointing out irregularities in the July 31 harmonised elections in Zimbabwe which he said the groupings endorsed even though they were not fair.

Indeed, in its report Sadc said the elections were free and peaceful, but did not describe them as fair.

Khama rightly pointed this fact out and also reminded all who cared to listen that Sadc has crafted electoral guidelines which, if not followed consistently, will impact negatively on future elections in the region and on the continent as a whole.

Khama was forthright in his criticism, but for this he has to be whipped into line by inane statements such as: “Surely the rest of Sadc and the rest of Africa can’t be wrong and only little Khama is right?”

Surely, both the AU and Sadc have been wrong in the past and examples abound.

A continent that says all leaders should think alike and not raise contrary, if often controversial, opinions deprives itself of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking.

The continent becomes dysfunctional and continues to live in a fool’s paradise characterised by a false sense of invincibility that will eventually collapse like a deck of cards.

Khama should be applauded for bringing forward a new kind of leadership to Africa; a leadership that is forward-looking and ready to challenge the kind of consensus thinking that has left Africa stuck in an aboriginal mindset.


    • he sounds lethal against Africans but is blind when whites are at fault, a sign that attaches permanently onto him the brand “puppet”, does he do the same brainstorming when its Blair, bush or some western army generals when its call to arrest them and have them on trial at the ICC, did he criticize the west’s acceptance and recognition of Egypt’s coup and its leadership as sign of double standard and undemocratic? does he not regard chasing of Zvayi as a sign he is undemocratic because its a pure sign of being intolerant to divergent views?
      this Khama is just one of the shameless appeasers of white world.

  1. Elections are due in Botswana and if Khama is true to his word should not invite AU/SADC observers but invite European and overseas observers. Its unfortunate that SADC headquarters are in Botswana and coz of that he is forced to remain a member

  2. if w could hv 3 or 4 presidents in africa who think like hm africa would b a better place.blackpowe u r dead rit black race is a cursed pple gud at stealing.pavanoba havaguti uye havasiirani zvinoita varungu.moyo wemutema wakasviba seganda rake

    • @samaita- Many thanks for this. Khama should go one up and invite other like minded leaders through out Africa and SADC to lose these albatross organisations who are hanging around the continent’s neck stiffling its march forward. There is nothing to be gained by continued membership of both SADC and AU when these bodies are used to validate the rule of dictators..Yes he should invite other like minded leaders to join him and they are actually growing on the continent. Why should he sit on the table with someone whose hands are dripping blood like Bashir, Nguessu, Campaore, Jameh, the King in Swaziland and other vampires..? Explain to me why should he do this with his eyes open? Birds of the same feather flock together, why should he be forced to flock with those he does not agree with? He has support of a sickened continent on this one. We say Bravo, Khama!

  3. Whose interest is this Khamellion serving? Has he ever been to Zimbabwe to witness what Zimbabweans are doing. We are not dump man. He should advocate for the sending of his European cousins to The Hague.
    He is trying to justify the funds he channelled to MDC. Kakadya mari yemaAmericans suka mani.

    • Spinach – I doubt if you are Zimbabwean. If you then its either you are not in Zimbabwe or you are one of the Zanu PF people. In all honest you cant be saying this knowing how much Zimbabweans are suffering. If your contentions are based on research then your sample is very biased. Please do the research again you will see how much Zimbabweans are suffering and how much they hate Zanu PF and its leader. Its not because they like MDC but they like anything and anyone that will bring independence to them.

      • point of correction my learned friend, Zanu PF has no people but people have Zanu PF. The borne of contention here is Khama is a nonentity in as far as Zimbabwe is concerned. First and foremost he is not married, he does not know how to head family.
        Besides what is it that is so good about Botswana? What can we as Zimbabweans learn from that Khama and his people. Nothing definitely nothing, instead they can learn a lot from Zimbabwe.
        Have learned or read about American History, their wars dificulties and their independence? IF NO go back and research.
        Botswana’s participation in SADC or African elections (monitoring and observing) has no significance at all.
        I say all this in my capacity so don’t hold no grudge against me Exiled.

        • Khama is not a nonentity for Zim. We owe our survival as individuals and a nation to his mobilising Tswanas to treat Zimbos well. When his government got into power it became easier (not easy) to enter Botswana and stay there. His government did a deal with Zim which resulted in us having electrical power. They also maintained lines of credit open to Zim when others were closing. Whatever I think about Khama (or Zuma who is not subject of discussion) I cannot call them names because their leadership has made their nations benefactors of Zimbabwe.

          Beyond that Khama’s thinking hear is what we need in Africa to enable us to untangle ourselves from voluntary slavery in nations outside Africa. I big Khama.

    • @Hlongwane Spinach……what are Zimbabweans doing? Shame, Shame Shame. you mean to see corruption ne looting ne obscene salaries. Hooo you mean potholes nemaroads asina masigns. Kana kut power cuts…ah. He is serving his own interest of course. Isu dai tichida we can serve our own interest and be held in high esteem in Africa.

  4. President Khama was right to say that the elections that happened in Zim were a fallace,a shame,and he went on to explain the word fair.

    The interview was repeated again yesterday,i really enjoyed the interview.Khama is a real man,he said it clearly that there were irregurlarities in the Zim elections and we can not just leave that and smile as this can even happen to SA and Botswana.He went to explain that Bots will never participate in any SADC elections as observers unless the Zimbawean issue is resolved.

    It goes on to show that those in the zanu pf government who are criticising Khama are there by hook and crook.Khama is very right and i like his stance,hatidi zvekubiridzirana,pasi nekuba.

    Keep it up Khama,you have my support don’t fear anything at all as they will do nothing to you at all and you have nothing to lose here.

    • Bravo Khama..and like Russian poet Maxim Gorky would say..Khama is a ‘man whose name has such a proud sound’. More like our Joacchim Chissano who continues to astound the world years after leaving office. I hope someone will be smart enough to carve the faces of Chissano and Nyerere next to Mandela on the mega engravings on the Table Mountain like the Americans have done on their Mount Rushmore with Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Lincoln or some such. These three great man of Africa makes me really proud to be African..Khama can join Mandela, Nyerere and Chissano as those fantastic four who truly dedicated themselves to moving the African family forward..It makes sense if Africa were a person his/her feet would be found in the SADC . Yes?

  5. And we all know that Khama is very right, so lets not criticise him on the basis that he said the inconvenient truth. Group think is very common even closer to home where certain political parties tend to have homogeneous ideas on critical policy matters all the time, but in private u hear some of the group members expressing their own independent thoughts. In other words, when they are among the people, they appear to think and talk like everybody else, but when they meet as a political grouping, they sing the ideas of one person.

  6. Indeed the voice of reason! Khama,Khama! The man must be hailed. This club thinking approach must come to an end. The future of Africa lies in the hands of forward thinking leaders like Khama. You got balls Khama unlike these other guys who continue to bootlick the old and dying who strong more concerned about their hold on power n the future of their kids n not anybody else. Tell them Khama.

  7. Right on the dot mr editor but pse retract the ‘arboriginal’ gaff. Arborigins aare people like us and deserve respect.

  8. “Aboriginal mindset?” Please stop insulting my Australian cousins who have suffered enough under occupation by Khama’s white cousins. Australian leaders must be taken to the ICC.

  9. If at all that half African KHAMA, was right about elections in Zimbabwe is that they were not fair.
    Yes they were not fair because the mdct puppet party and its sponsors tried every criminal act known to human beings by imposing economic measures which were meant to influence the electorate against ZPF, the true revolutionary party. However thanks to the literate Zimbabwean
    electorate, they did not fall into that trick. Khama should respect the bushmen he has systematically abused in Botswana and he should be tried at the ICC himself. Zimbabweans rejected the gay puppets through the ballot and Khama should worry about 2/3 of his population
    which is being terminated by the deadly aids virus. We don’t need Botswana but Botswana needs us, that’s a fact Whether any idiot here likes it or not.

    • Botswana needs us?My foot!Hey Reason how many Bots are economic refugees here as compared to our people domiciled in Botsland?Ironically, Khama shares some common traits with the leader of his Eastern neighbor in that they are both isolationists.Whereas President Mugabe can summarily withdraw us from the Commonwealth Khama too will withdraw his country from future SADC observer teams.I hear Khama has also refused to acknowledge our win over Mali and has threatened to withdraw Botsland from FIFA membership if that win is not revocked! Kkkkkk.

  10. no mr Editor,we cant applaud Khama. He is a hypocrite to the core. He pretends to be democratic bt he is not. Lets not be gullible as the man is trying to divert attention from the looming election in his country. If he is democratic,how many TV or radio stations are there in his country?? How free z the Botswana media?? A clinical look at his gvt nw will show u it is filled wth his cronies who fast tracked his rise to power clandenstinely. The man z a puppet of the West. How can u allow a head of State to b hauled to a court leaving a country leaderless?? Its ridiculous. Not saying our leaders shud get away wth murder bt some decisions of Sadc n Au r practical. Wud the Americans allow Obama to appear before ICC fo the murders in Afganistan?? They are nt stupid bt wil let Khama b a fool. Khama z welcome to leave Sadc n Au.

    • @paprapinda- what do people in the streets of Harare who call those they dont agree with puppets? There is your answer my friend, Khama calls it as he sees it..and if this makes one a puppet why not start your own dictionary?

  11. thank you mr editor for seeing the light.there is nothing holy about zanu pf as they would want to paint khama as one fighting the gods.the gods of treachery and sophistries who survive on thievery….

  12. We don’t nid Botswana but Botswana nid Zimboz 4 cheap labour bcoz of hunger we facing in the hands of ZPF’s corrupt policies.

  13. stupid reasoning…khama was wrong in this or that aspect so lets all be wrong…anyone who advocates for fairness is western minded..but he who supports thievery is welcome and african enough…stupid definations for africa

  14. The RIGHT Khama should find a wife first before wabbling rubbish. tuhasa twokushaya bonde utwo nonsense.

  15. @Falcon don’t you dare pull the crap on me. If you are eating donkey meat in Bots, ndezvako izvo.

  16. It’s not a sin to criticise but its an offense to be silent when u see dangerous situations trapping populations or populations eating poison.Khama’s criticism of the healthy of SADC and AU is not illness but a panacea for the reformation of African politics.How could a losing part be allowed to unite wth a loser in government?if khama had been heed in 2008,zimbabwe wouldnt hv swum in the woes we’re stl lamenting today.
    However,Ian Khama is an external critic!he criticises the negative of the other but doing the same things in his own country.Ian khama is a dictator in his own country but resembles himself as a saviour.Mr Khama must repent enough for his criticism of others nomatter how good they are to hold water

  17. @falcon,the word puppet is nt a preserve of Zanupf or yoself. It is an irony that you want Khama to call a spade a spade but you deny the same upportunity to me a zimbabwean who is affected by Khama’s ctiticism. He is a puppet in ma view and that is my fair opinion of him,nt the people in the streets of Harare. May i ask,are u a zimbabwean…..kkkkkkk

  18. The only necessary condition for evil to prevail is for good men to say and do nothing when they see the evil happening. Hear, see and speak no evil!

  19. Khama Khama Khama give us space tisununguke munyika yedu yechipikirwa.yatakarwira,ropa yikadeuka.asi wavakutya mangoda edu ah no problem muzukuru shanda nanasekuru vako EU.

  20. @hiongwane spinache mupe mai vako vaite bonde naye but THE TRUTH HAS BEEN WELL SAID AND HEARD even by you who hate the truth and think that everyone who is against the truth is WESTERN MINDED.what about that of the Malawian president on Mandela`s burial?IF JOYCE BANDA CAN TEAM UP WITH IAN KHAMA,THEN AFRICA CAN BE A BETTER CONTINANT.truth hurts.kkkkkkkkkkkk.the time to talk about the west has long expired.are you not bored of that same old chorus of yours na reason asinga rizine?.nxaaaa.

    • Have you heard the people of comment on the JB speech on Mandela ? Go check the Malawi Voice and Malawi Nation Newspapers, you will be surprised. Mina I read widely I don’t take rubbish. So I urge you to be wiser @gulaz.

  21. Ian Khama is a breath of fresh air. I am a big fan of Ian Khama. He is dead right to criticise Sadc and AU morons over this tumultuous outpost tyranny of ours. These African dictators lied to the world that they were fighting oppression when they are worse oppressors just to get into power. Botswana is an oasis of good governance surrounded by tyranny.

  22. The biggest reason why African countries will forever be mired in tyranny is because of the wrong form of governments. By this I mean having executive Presidents-for-life has been retrogressive. A recipe for tyranny. The executive Presidents cling on to power mercilessly. They want to rule forever. What Africa needs are titular or ceremonial heads of State with the army and police answerable only to the ceremonial Presidents and a prime minister, who is president of a political party, as head of government. That might go some way in checking the power of the heads of government. Right now in Zimbabwe Mugabe is head of government, head of state, commander of the armed forces and police, he appoints members of the judiciary, in fact, he is head of everything. He virtually does as he pleases with impunity with a deaf and dumb parliament at his mercy. The MDC helped perpetuate this rot by endorsing a lopsided Constitution because Tsvangirai thought he was next President.

  23. He, (Khama) criticises what he calls ‘a phenomenon called groupthink’ but he does not know that the same phenomenon is what obtains within the EU countries . When Britain impose sanctions on Zim every EU country is expected to support even if it sees otherwise

    • @Eddy – utter nonsense. the groupthink in the EU is positive whereas in Africa it is for the wrong reasons. The EU is not asking to rule but saying you people should treat each other with respect which to me is not too much to ask. It’s not the first time Eu and others have imposed sanctions against this country. From 1965 to 1980 the UN (which uncludes EU) imposed trade sanctions against Rhodesia because they felt we were now able to govern ourselves.

  24. Khama is a principled man. They can call him names but that will not affect my opinion on Khama, the only reasonable voice in these funny clubs call AU and SADC. He is not a clown like the rest of them.

  25. Spinach u are so damp thats y u are brainwashed by zpf propaganda. @ parapinda the biggest puppet of the west in our history is yo leader Mugabe and he knows it very well that the British brought him to power,even though he parted ways with them in 2000. The British must come vatibvisire munhu wavo, Hondo hainakurwiwa for 1 man to rule this country for life .90 yrs he still clinches to power what he knows is looting and killing people sizi mhani.

  26. Group think we experienced it in the past 4 year of the coalition of chefs and looters in gov. Mugabe became Morgans tea buddy how they showered him with praises for being clever what ever than means seeing Zimbabwe is down the drain

  27. The reality is how can anyone who claims to be educated still support a government that has created the poorest country in the world with 90% of its population unemployed. A country with no money poorly managed and only officials of ZANU earning good salaries of over $ 50 000 dollars a month while everyone else earns $350 dollars a month and barely survive. The party employs a huge government workforce to keep them voting for ZANU but cannot pay them.

    Bob the racist claims it is sanctions but it was he and Zanu that imposed very strict sanctions on the then Rhodesia which still managed to thrive. He steals what little the country has to pay hos cronies who keep him in power and uses racism against whites to divide and stay in power yet begs England for hand outs and money to keep going. Talk about two faced and a consummate liar.

    Nigeria, Zambia, Botswana and many other countries are successful because they have leaders who understand economies and what is needed to grow wealth and employment. How to have farmers who do commercial farming and not subsistence farming.

    The wheel turns and like Egypt, Syria, Ukraine etc. the population will cry enough is enough and rise up. Let us hope for Bobs sake he is in China at the time his second home.

  28. Group think is a Zimbabwe problem Nkomo lost the 1980 election through it not because of what he had to offer although it was of 200% quality compared to what Zimbos settled for. In 2005 Ncube before the split highlighted the back ward leadership of MT he was sidelined although he told the truth. Now the stooges like Mangoma are repeating the same thing 10years later.

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