Botswana has expressed concern over increasing cases of African political leaders refusing to step down and extending their stay in office, even beyond their constitutional mandate.
BY SILAS NKALA
In a statement on Monday, the Ian Khama-led government said it was concerned about lack of democracy among African nations.
“The government of the Republic of Botswana wishes to express her concern regarding the disturbing trend, whereby, some political leaders refuse to relinquish power when their term of office expires. These leaders have now resorted to measures such as delaying holding of elections or amending their national constitutions to effectively extend their term of office,” the Southern African country said.
“The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a case in point. We continue to witness a worsening humanitarian situation in that country mainly because its leader has persistently delayed the holding of elections and has lost control over the security of his country.
“Botswana, therefore, urges the international community to put more pressure on leadership in the Democratic Republic of Congo to relinquish power and pave way for the ushering of a new political dispensation.”
Several African countries among them Rwanda, Uganda have Presidents who have served for more than two terms.
In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe ruled the country since 1980 until he was deposed by the military last year in November, after indicating that he would contest this year’s election to further extend his rule.