SADC must insist on credible Zimbabwe elections – Botswana

Harare – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the rest of the international community should insist on a process leading to credible elections in Zimbabwe, the deputy permanent secretary for media at Botswana’s Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, Jeff Ramsay, said in a press statement on Wednesday.\r\n

Jeff Ramsay said that Botswana respected Zimbabweans’ right to choose leaders of their choice but such elections should be “truly democratic and genuinely free and fair”.

“In this regard SADC, with the support of the international community, must insist on such a process for the delivery of credible elections in that country and must put in place, well before the elections and leading up to election day, a monitoring mechanism to guarantee such an outcome,” said Ramsay in the statement sent to APA.

President Robert Mugabe has said that Zimbabwe will hold elections next year although his partners in the coalition government insist that conditions are not yet conducive for the holding of a free and fair poll.

They are demanding a SADC-guaranteed election roadmap that would ensure the ballot is held under conditions leading to violence-free polls and where the outcome is representative of the people’s will.

“It is the position of Botswana that… there is no single party that is ruling in Zimbabwe but rather an inclusive government. As such any decisions on an election date must be arrived at by agreement of all parties and not through any unilateral pronouncements,” Ramsay said.

More than 200 Zimbabweans were killed during the last polls held in June 2008.