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Botswana opposition BCP party slams Masisi for supporting Mnangagwa

The opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has warned President Mokgweetsi Masisi for supporting Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party and its leader Emmerson Mnangagwa while on a state visit.

The Botswana leader was in Zimbabwe last week to officially open the 112th edition of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show (ZAS) in Harare.

He addressed the business community telling them about his government’s relationship with Zanu-PF.

He claimed: “Botswana continues to call for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe…. We just came from our elective congress, and Zanu-PF was represented very well…. The two ruling parties have relations, we are friends.”

BCP, however, slammed Masisi accusing him of being out of order after he made “partisan” comments on behalf of Botswana. The opposition party believes that Masisi was not supposed to talk about his association with Zanu-PF while on a State sanctioned visit.

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The party further accused him of attempting to exonerate Zanu-PF and Mnangagwa from the Zimbabwean crisis.

“President Masisi’s visit to Zimbabwe was a State visit, the BCP is therefore surprised at the partisan nature of his welcome, which is a foreign practice in the conduct of international relations, especially those of a sovereign nation.

“President Masisi’s attempt to absolve Zanu-PF and President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the Zimbabwean crisis is not only an affront and insult to the suffering people of Zimbabwe, but it is also an attempt to revise history in the most deceptive way. It is similar to convincing us that Idi Amin was an honorable man.

“The fact is, the sanctions are only targeted at designated people in Zimbabwe, who are key members of the Mugabe (former President Robert Mugabe) regime, including Mnangagwa. How this affects the economy of Zimbabwe is yet to be explained.

“President Masisi must confide in Botswana before he tells the world that he speaks on their behalf,” read the statement signed by Mpho M. Pheko, BCP Information and Publicity Secretary.

The party further called upon Mnangagwa’s government to introduce the “necessary reforms that will allow for true democracy to thrive”.

“Repression of political opponents and intimidation of those that challenge the Zanu-PF regime should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

“Having noticed the decline of democracy and the disregard of the rule of law in Botswana under the BDP government, the BCP hopes that the budding friendship between BDP and Zanu-PF will not further undermine democracy in the two countries,” the BCP said.