Khama dresses down Mugabe

HARARE - Botswana President Ian Khama apparently clashed with President Robert Mugabe at the Sadc summit in Harare on Wednesday in front of other regional heads of State and government over the rampant influx of undocumented Zimbabweans into Botswana and South Africa.

Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that Mugabe, who is current Sadc chairman, watched in consternation as Khama sided with South African President Jacob Zuma as the pair partly blamed the nonagenarian’s misrule in Zimbabwe for the crisis regarding illegal migrants in the region.

After Khama had launched into an unexpected outburst against Mugabe, which left some of the Sadc leaders shell-shocked, he allegedly stormed out of the meeting and flew back to Gaborone, about four hours before the summit ended.

Wednesday’s incident is the latest round of clashes between Khama and Mugabe after the Botswana leader snubbed Mugabe’s official opening and closing remarks at the 34th Sadc Heads of State and Government Summit that was held in Victoria Falls last August.

The two leaders, who incidentally were elected Sadc chairperson and deputy chairperson respectively last year, have had a frosty relationship going back to more than a decade ago — with Khama, a close ally of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai once famously labelling Mugabe “illegitimately elected”.

The Botswana leader, who has a military background, has also previously threatened to sever ties with the regional bloc for whitewashing sham elections such as Zimbabwe’s disputed 2013 polls.

The sources who spoke to the Daily News yesterday told the newspaper that tensions ran high at the summit, leading to Khama leaving abruptly after he had given Mugabe a “thorough dressing down”.

Khama apparently told the closed-door session that Mugabe needed to “stop burying his head in the sand” over the rampant influx of undocumented Zimbabweans into Botswana and South Africa and take proactive action to stem the situation. This followed heated debate on the causes and possible remedies to the murder of foreigners in South Africa.

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa have seen at least seven foreigners losing their lives in the last two weeks alone, including Zimbabweans.

“Khama was really upset, he was fuming. He pounced on Mugabe’s rule as having created the immigration crisis which he said was endangering Botswana’s security and stretching its resources to the limit. He also said the same situation was prevailing in South Africa,” one source said.

Another source said it had been very evident early on in the heated discussion that there was bad blood between Khama and Mugabe.

“Lieutenant General Khama made it clear through his body language and what he later said that he had no time for President Mugabe. It was not a pleasant meeting,” another source said.

However, it is said that Mugabe held his own and stuck to his guns, rejecting Khama’s accusations — a move that apparently provoked the no-holds-barred exchange that only ended with the timely intervention of King Mswati III of Swaziland.

Khama’s contention was that applications for asylum and refugee status by desperate Zimbabweans were piling up in Botswana. He also apparently drew Mugabe into a resources debate arguing that neighbouring countries were being forced to shoulder an extra responsibility to look after Zimbabweans instead of focusing on their citizens.

“Khama told mukuru (Mugabe) that he should address the economic problems in Zimbabwe as a matter of urgency,” another highly-placed source said.

The Daily News also heard that temperatures rose even further when Khama said there was a risk of an explosion of xenophobia attacks even in Botswana, arguing that Zimbabwe was in that sense allegedly compromising the neighbouring countries’ security.

Zuma apparently told the meeting that his government would work to educate its citizens to be tolerant of foreigners and would keep its security forces on high alert to avert another round of attacks.

Later, a crestfallen Mugabe, speaking in a low and tired voice at a media conference, admitted to the illegal migration problem, although he did not mention Botswana in his presentation.

“I was suggesting that we, the neighbours, must do what we can to prevent more people going into South Africa. If we can do it, we can then try to get those in South Africa home,” Mugabe said.

“So people should get back to their own countries. It’s not just one for South Africa to resolve but for us, we the neighbouring countries, to resolve. Our people should not have the instinct of rushing into South Africa.”

Mugabe said his government had repatriated 800 of its citizens from Durban, but the returnees had openly stated that they wanted to return to South Africa, the most developed economy in Africa and second largest after Nigeria.

“The people who are described as influx into South Africa are not pushed by governments,” Mugabe said in a tacit denial of the accusations by Khama.

“They are people who voluntarily go to South Africa. They think South Africa is the heaven, our heaven in southern Africa.

“Long ago, going to South Africa was like going to heaven on earth,” Mugabe told reporters after the summit.

“The majority of our people go to work on farms. Then they run away from farms to start new lives in the cities. But why do that? People must get back to their own countries.

“Our people should not have the instinct of rushing into South Africa.”

Mugabe said what regional leaders could do in the circumstances “is not just to criticise but also to assist the government and people of South Africa”.

By the time Mugabe spoke to the press, Khama had already arrived in Botswana.

But even more problematic for Mugabe, he ended up being caught in a nasty case of ethnic stereotyping at the Press conference when he appeared to single out the Kalanga people for being behind many crimes that were being committed by Zimbabweans in South Africa — remarks that have courted the ire of many people.

Comments (51)

Tinotenda Mweya Mutsvene waMwri. Zbvakaporofitwa neMweya Mutsvene pana Madzibaba Ishmael izvi. Kureva kuti chero mukamusunga Ishmael asi akatumwa naMwari. Ndizvo chaizvo zvakataura izwi paari izvi zvakaitika pamusangano we SADC. Zvakataurwa chishanu chapfuura musi wa 24 April. Tinotenda Mwari.

GM - 1 May 2015

Mugabe urimbwa. Musatanyoko. How can you blame a tribe in your country as if they are not Zimbabweans? Can you define who a Zzimbabwean is then. Believe me or not, you will die by the end of next year. You are worse than Idi Amin, Obote, Sani Abacha, Mengestu, Kamuzu Banda, Ian Smith. You are are monster. May satan descent upon you and suck the little blood left in your frail, shapeless, old disintegrating, pile of tissues.

Ziziharinanyanga - 1 May 2015

Its a pity that God still piles more days for the dangerous man Robert Mgabe and his ZANU pf to ruin Rhodesia. He is a real HELL and all his supporters to hell.He is a stinking tribalist

chance - 1 May 2015

Robert Mugabe is an intelligent educated fool who is neither a good leader nor a wise person. An eloquent public speaker who is very good at speaking in public but lacks the essential leadership qualities that a leader should possess, I can say in some way he is clever at keeping himself and his family safe by abusing state resources as in having a lot of secret police or CIO whatever they call it. Unfortunately because all the idiots in Zanu pf are not as eloquent, confident or clever as he is, they are afraid of him. All the other daft African leaders except Khama are also afraid this articulate old evil man and therefore noboby else except Ian Khama Seretse Khama can stand up to this old evil man who has destroyed our beloved country.

redemption - 1 May 2015

Botswana President Ian Khama is the only intelligent and sane member of that useless SADC talk-shop. The rest of them are incompetent deadbeat free-loaders. Most of the civilized free world know that Mugabe is a thieving self-serving crook.

Konrad Mwanza - 1 May 2015

he insulted my tribe i wish him a long life in Singapore hospital. if i were jonathan moyo i would reject my paycheck for 3 months in protest

unangoni - 1 May 2015

I wonder what people in rural Mashonaland see in this man. I wonder what these chiefs see that the whole world and now South Africa and Botswana don't see

Phaphamani - 2 May 2015

I wonder what God think this old old man can do for Zimbabwe. Tully this man is now a burden to this country. What wrong did Zimbabweans do to God. To let this man make Zimbabweanssuffer like this. To let him insult Zimbabweans like this without punishing him.

ephraim - 2 May 2015

I love it. One day I would like to shake Ian Khama's hand. I love his mettle and courage to call a spade a spade. RGM has managed to poison much of sadc. Truly, it is hard not wish that Ian was our President! Well done Botswanna. Sadc needs to catch a very big wake up: they have been tainted by a very bad smell. Sad but true. Please Lord have mercy on Zimbabwe. Righteousness exalts a nation but sin brings a reproach. We are one big reproach.

TruthBTold - 2 May 2015

If this is what they had to close the door to blame zimbabwe for the southern regions problems then this is entirely unproductive . Solution is what we need . Till 2018 Mugabe will be president

Elisha - 2 May 2015

It is confusing and mind-boggling that Mugabe looks down upon farm workers but encourages people to be farmers! Probably tha's why Zimbabweans are land owners and not farmers. You claim to have given people land. What should they do to the land? Farming is for the uneducated Khalangas. Then why give farms to educated people? I thought if farming was an industry then people should be employed as we can't all be employers we need people to work in the farms. Unfortunately for Zimbabwe land owners the uneducated Khalangas opt for South African farms

Amir - 2 May 2015

It is confusing and mind-boggling that Mugabe looks down upon farm workers but encourages people to be farmers! Probably tha's why Zimbabweans are land owners and not farmers. You claim to have given people land. What should they do to the land? Farming is for the uneducated Khalangas. Then why give farms to educated people? I thought if farming was an industry then people should be employed as we can't all be employers we need people to work in the farms. Unfortunately for Zimbabwe land owners the uneducated Khalangas opt for South African farms

Amir - 2 May 2015

Elisha uri tsvina yemu pit toilet. Unonhuwa together with your husband mugabe. Uri ngochani!!

detergent - 2 May 2015

Ian Khama,please do not stop telling these evil man called Mugabe his evil deeds even though he is good in denying everything he caused. Mugabe always want to associate himself with lies .he ruined Zimbabwe;s economic and he blames everything to America and Great Britian .He gave himself everything in Zimbabwe and he still blames someone for that ,he killed people for showing him that they are no longer interested in his rule. He is busy destroying companies in Zimbabwe as we are talking .He want to die with everyone and everything .please God have mess on us

mr honest - 2 May 2015

suffer continue

wally wally - 2 May 2015

This is not the first time that Achimweene has insulted the citizen of this country the last time i remember was when he insulted the people of Mbare when he said they were totemless idiots who never wanted to vote for him . We true zimbabweans know no tribe but zimababwean this other thing of insulting other citizen and under mining them is alien to us and only cropped in 1980 when this fool was put as leader of this country by lord soamese . Every time this idiot opens his foul mouth the stench is unbearable . One wonders if the whites did not sponsor his education at Rhose university for a primary school teacher degree if he would be boasting up to now.A fool is a fool no matter how many degrees he has . As zimbabweans lets all please unite liberate our selves so that we can have a country that is not ruled on tribal bases but merit . Ian Khama twaalumba .

Diibulaanyika - 2 May 2015

I have no comment on unauthoritative sources because we do not have any reliable source confirming this. Is this ethical in journalism. Shame on you daily news. We complain about the herald journos for creating issues and you do the same.

chingava - 2 May 2015

Enlighten me please!!! What is to 'dress down' someone? Confused

alftinmak - 2 May 2015

Mr Khama you are the only president who is not confused and been talking sense ever since Mugabe had been stealing elections only to be let down by some clueless presidents in the continent .But from what happened in SA a few days ago has made Zuma sober and woke up from a deep loooong slumber and we hope he will do something so that the evil one who is busy displacing people from their country can be removed either violently or peacefully no matter which way as long he is removed will do for us .Big up daily news for not disclosing your source of this news as it is your duty to protect your sources of information if it you requires to do so bcoz you do not want them to be killed for merely giving you some news ,

Diibulaanyika - 2 May 2015

@chingava the independent and newsday have the same story. The Herald is of course conveniently elusive about it. khama murume chaiye, zuma is slowly catching on.

mherekiya - 2 May 2015

Khama. taura hako. This old man is a liability, period.

phiri - 2 May 2015

......whilst my beloved country cries .......

Den - 2 May 2015

Zuma and your election monitors you are also to blame for this mess as you are biased. If your shameless team was honest on elections then we would not be in this mess. Thank you President Khama your are the MAN.

zvinodzoka - 3 May 2015

I blame the whites

NJT55 - 3 May 2015

Mugabe always justifies everything he does with rhetoric - fancy talk. He has been in charge for 35 years and does not take any responsibility for the desperate state this country is in. It is never his fault and he is never wrong.

vortex - 3 May 2015

I have always suspected mr mugabe is an idiot, now he confirms my fear. Its not an instinct to go to south africa, its an instinct to seek to survive.zimasset is trash. he must start at the beginning,seek legitimacy and stop stealing elections

dube - 3 May 2015

lan Khama has been president for long as well...taking the seat from his father...Indwangu zihlekana iziphongo

Worried - 3 May 2015

@ Worried if you have nothing just remain shut up Ian Khama never to over from his father he is the third president after his father and he is in his last term . On top of that Batswana people are the happiest people in the continent bcoz they have a leader who cares and creates jobs for them' a leader who does not displace his own people or kill his country men bcoz they do not want to vote for him. Only a bhobhojan does not that .

Diibulaanyika - 3 May 2015

Only a bhobhojan does not know that.

Diibulaanyika - 3 May 2015

I dont know why he doesn't get tired of blaming western countries for his mismanagement. Muroyi will never admit that anoroya.

Tinodanana - 3 May 2015

you mixed khama are you trying to portray that only zimbos are coming to your country and no tswana is in any other son of a white bitch

Chasura - 3 May 2015

How pious to cry out in anguish when other perpetrate crimes against your people, whilst you are guilty, 10000 times more, in you planned massacres against your own people. Are we talking about the same man, who, with his North Koreans created 5th Brigade, and under their supervision massacred 20 to 30 000 of the people who he now describes as the criminals? Gukurahundi See Wikipedia Date 3 February 1984[1] - 22 December 1987[2][3] Target Ndebele population of Zimbabwe Attack type Pogrom, torture, indefinite detention Deaths 20,000[4][5] - 30,000[6] Perpetrators Fifth Brigade Central Intelligence Organisation. Is he still the Elephant in the room no one but Khama, recognizes?

Louis - 3 May 2015

Mr Zuma you messed up big time from your predesessor Thabo Mbeki you were the first after every Zim Election to pronounce they were free and fair so dont be a cry baby

FREE AND FAIR - 4 May 2015

Lmaooo bob saying we all work on farms and run away to work in the more delusional can this very old man get? We all don't work on farms. Give us a good reason why we should not migrate to other prosperous, democratic countries? Is it the ''2 million jobs'' u have created as promised? They are many push factors i.e. lack of jobs, lack of opportunity, lack of security, lack of democracy etc. Bob must step down as simple as that and more African presidents need to take a firm stand against this tyrant and others like him.

obama4ever - 4 May 2015

kwanzi toda kuti vanhu vasaenda ku SA uye toda kuti vese vari ikoko vadzoke kuzoita ma vendors muzimbabwe nhai kutaurawo here ikoko kwemunhu mukuru kwanzi mazimbabweans ndiwo arikupisa vanhu ku SA nhai varume is this man still normal

mwanawevhu - 4 May 2015

Xenophobia happens now and again, apa munhu wakaguta, zvino Zanuphobia is 24/7 apa nzara yakakiya. Todiiko

Gandanga Guru - 4 May 2015

I think Khama has misfired in this instance is Mugabe to blame for all the undocumented Mozambicans,Malawians and so forth? Anyway people will always be people so let them go where they want it is up to the respective destination countries to see that their visitors are properly documented. Tsvangirai is his friend and he has not won an election before has he ever taken time to ask why?

daniel - 4 May 2015

Mr Dokora, have you discussed with suppliers? Its good to consider others

Robin - 4 May 2015

khama is right inoder for us not to be attacked we need to be in our country protected with our employment opportunities in our nation.

mr truth - 4 May 2015

Khama haana zvaanoziva.Vanhu vanongofamba vachienda kwavanoda.Ko maBritish akazara muAfrica inyaya yemisrule here,ko ku North Africa vanhu vari kufira mumvura vachiedza kuenda Europe kuna vaMugabe here.Dai Mwari avabatsira

mike - 4 May 2015

Whilst the Daily News encourages the use of non-vulgar language and all obsceneties, I find it weird that such comments are still captured here. I dislike it! However I notice the Herald Live blocked me from commenting after I mentioned that it is the state responsible for the disappearance of Itai Dzamara as evidenced by what happened to Tonderai Ndira, Tichaona Chiminya, Talent Mabika, Patrick Nabanyama. Now some of you might wonder how these people and this issue comes about in the sense of this article. Many people who have dared opposed the Old Man have been relentlessly tortured out of the country to SA, Botswana etc. Those who cannot voice their concerns but are tortured economically leave quietly, so it is folly to think the government is not responsible. Someone mentions of Europeans being all over Africa, yes but not as an influx. Just as prior to the economic turmoil here, we still had Zimbabweans in different parts of the world albeit in quite insignificant numbers. His Excellency should be held accountable and responsible as Head of State of a disintegrating country, politically, socially and economically. We do not even want to hear about sanctions this, sanctions that! There are two options: You burst the sanctions or you yield to the demands of the imposers. Failing on either shows complete failure. And stop blaming sanctions. Torturing someone because they are strongly against you is totally insane. Everyone has the right to live just as anyone else. No life is special because one has turned a leader! Can you imagine if those who died were your own children your Excellency how would you feel? That is the same feeling in those that lost their beloved ones through xenophobia/afrophobia.

charles charingeno - 4 May 2015

I doubt the credibility of Khama

tumirai - 5 May 2015

If the Devil mugabe is ever going to be able to feed the remaining population of the country that he and his bandwagon struggled in the name of chimurenga to bring forth suffering and toiling in the land that he found with milk and honey, he should not be ashamed to call back other numbers who are also struggling to recover and forget about him and his tyranny type of ruling. Let alone asking neighbors not to let passage to Zims on transit to S.A. The solution and the only one is to Get out of that spoiled presidential seat and see how much congestion will all the world boarders experience with Zimbabweans crossing back to their land. Zimbabweans are not only in South Africa.

Tichaona Mamvemve - 5 May 2015

Breaking news about 6000 migrants rounded up in the mediteranean over the weekend most from Libya what is this telling - that the AU is a shambles the europeans are doing everything to save these lives and this old man chairing the AU is doing absolutely nothing -no politician on the continent cares about the ordinary people except add to their misery

Ordinary person - 5 May 2015

I applud ian khama if indeed he said what he is said to have said. But behaving like a school bitter school boy is hardly the mark of a great leader. If indeed he was against the discussion why give it authenticity by coming in the first place? Why not just stay in his beautiful botswana? Secondly being well informed which undoubtedly he is, like the rest of you folks, which country has an influx of people in south africa. Mozambique or zimbabwe,malawi and nigeria ? They are more mozambicans in sa than zimbos and mugabe certainly is not the president of these other countries. Yes he has overstayed his welcome. But the real problem is about all african leaders. From zuma to you name him. They just cannot stand for justice equality and democracy. Mugabe is not alone in this regard. They just are not courageous leaders in africa anymore. Its strange but very true.

Rafael santos - 6 May 2015

Sorry to have another go. Those that hold mugabe responsible for all these ills are wrong. Very wrong. Did they expect mugabe to remove himself from power? I mean i have been to mocambique , south africa and botswana to mention just a few countries and i have never seen a people more docile more prown to abuse, than zimbabweans. We are just not brave enough as a people. Simple exercises of our democratic and natural rights are so difficult for us because we are a people perpetually afraid of even our selves.

Rafael santos - 6 May 2015

Are Zimbabweans the only immigrants in Botswana?

robert - 8 May 2015

When you look at the broader picture migrants f rom all over Africa are on the move . Some desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean because of the instability in the northern part of Africa- others moving around the Continent moving looking for greener pastures. the truth The AU is a useless Organisation like SADC they have failed the people on the continent there is no court to prosecute those who slaughter , steal from the coffers etc. now you get the finance minister putting his hand to scrounge from the west - The chair of AU is globetrotting to Russia he does not care about anyone except for himself period he is a selfish person and only tells the world that Zimbabwe belongs to him - what sort of a leader will say that and yet fail the people?

Zimbabwe IS mine icho - 8 May 2015

Its High time ordinary africans became bold enough and take action against those who fail their people- Come on Africans be bold enough and rally behind those Organisatons in Civil Society that speak on your behalf

~ - 8 May 2015

chasura ndiwe imbwa yemunhu mucio akafasa brain kuvengera Khama chokwadi.Nanzva magaro amugabe imbwa.

Chitsiga - 8 May 2015

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