I've no sympathy for Mugabe: Khama

HARARE - Botswana President Ian Khama has said he does not wish ousted President Robert Mugabe well but does not wish him ill either following a tragic end to his repressive 37-year rule on Tuesday.

Mugabe was forced to resign as president after nearly four decades in power, halting impeachment proceedings against him.

One of Africa’s most outspoken figures, Khama — who had unsuccessfully appealed to Mugabe to accept reality and step down to end Zimbabweans’ unprecedented suffering — said: “I don’t see any reason why I should wish him well. Because if I have any sympathy for him, I would say to myself but didn’t he have any sympathy for his own people? But if he cared nothing for his own people then why should I care for him and I don’t wish him ill either. I just say let’s leave him alone and let him just try and enjoy the rest of his life.”

Botswana, the world’s largest producer of diamonds, shares an 800km frontier with Zimbabwe and has absorbed the full weight of its neighbour’s economic implosion spawned by political violence and hyperinflation since 2000.

Botswana is home to an estimated 100 000 Zimbabweans  — a fraction of the three million believed to be in South Africa — although this is still enough to strain public services in a nation of 2,3 million people.

Khama has also said Botswana’s jails hold “significant numbers” of Zimbabweans.

Khama said the new President Emmerson Mnangagwa “should embrace democracy in all its forms, Zimbabwe has got the potential of being an economic powerhouse.”

“The people are so innovative and hardworking. I’m sure investors will be tripping over themselves to come back into that country,” he said.

Comments (4)

Do not see investors coming quickly when corruption is so rife at the top

Rapper - 24 November 2017

Sound advice from the senior bachelor.

Hon. Temba P. Mliswa - 24 November 2017

Go Khama Go Viva ma zebra!

Mns - 27 November 2017

President Khama is the best leader by African standards. He refused to buckle to the whims of a power hungry and insatiable first lady's appetite for personal wealth at the expense of a long-suffering nation. Zimbabweans have been despised, looked down by some of our host countries whilst trying to eke out a living. Now, the ball is on the other foot hopefully as Zimbabweans we shall never allow ourselves to be degraded so lowly, nor forget Sir Khama and the few who have stood by us through our trying times.. Mugabe was a litmus test for us all, and I am glad that finally he has gone the way of the great and ruthless men before him into the dustbins of the annals of history. Mussolini, Mobutu Sese Seko, Idi Amin, Hitler...the list is long...but its going to grow ever longer because power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely..So, we shall yet see more tyrants... In parting..I say that the good that men do lives long after they die; but the evil that men do dies with them.. Viva Zimbabwe..my motherland, proud jewel of Africa...

C. Kandemiri - 28 November 2017

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