MDC pays tribute to people of Botswana

Harare – Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change on Tuesday congratulated Botswana President Ian Khama on his re-election.

In a statement, the MDC said, the just-ended peaceful elections served as a lesson to the rest of Africa that it was possible to hold free and fair polls. 

In polls held at the weekend, President Khama of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) was re-elected for a second and final term of office which runs until 2014.

Seven political parties and 15 independent candidates contested in the country’s 57 constituencies, with the main race being between the ruling BDP, the Botswana National Front and the Botswana Congress Party.

The MDC congratulated Botswana for the “bloodless election where all parties contested freely”.

“The MDC believes that the election in Botswana and the recent election in South Africa have sent a clear lesson to both the emerging and established dictators in Africa that the people’s unfettered will must be allowed to prevail,” the Zimbabwean party said.

It noted that since the democratic election in South Africa held in July, Africa could “only marvel at the emerging tempo and the changing times on our continent and the region”.

“Our neighbours in South Africa and Botswana have sent a clear message that the feudal politics of machetes, knobkerries and guns have no place in modern Africa and violent polls must be a subject for the archives,” the MDC said.

The MDC is led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who is locked in a bitter power-sharing dispute with President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF.

A compromise government formed by the two parties in February has been strained by squabbles over control of ministries and appointments of key positions.