Botswana won’t recongise Mugabe if coalition collapses

Speaking to the AFP news agency, on the sidelines of a rally in Botswana ahead of elections there, Khama said of the coalition, ‘It is limping along and there is a real danger that the whole thing could collapse.

Its been 8 months since the shaky coalition was put together but there has been no progress in resolving problems around the appointment of key officials, including a deputy minister, provincial governors, central bank governor, attorney general and ambassadors. Even some ministerial mandates earlier agreed to are being unilaterally tampered with by Mugabe.

If the MDC were looking for signs of regional support in the event of them pulling out, Khama certainly provided the first one.

He told journalists ‘If it was to collapse for genuine reasons we would certainly not recognise a ZANU-only government or certainly not one headed by President Robert Mugabe because he certainly did not win the presidential election last year.’

Khama has remained Mugabe’s strongest critic in the region and was the first to break rank with fellow SADC leaders, who continue to opt for quiet appeasement.

After Morgan Tsvangirai won the March 2008 presidential election a bloody campaign of violence and intimidation run by the military under the Joint Operations Command was to see him withdraw from the subsequent run-off.

Khama made it clear then that Botswana would not recognise Mugabe’s flawed win in the one man presidential run off.

Sources close to the power sharing talks last year insist Khama and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete advised Tsvangirai not to sign the deal until all the MDC demands had been met.

This was not to happen and the MDC signed up to the deal on the understanding that outstanding issues would be resolved once they were in government.

Evidence so far suggests that might have been a hasty decision and took away all of their bargaining power. SW Radio Africa