Cablegate: Botswana's Statement On Zimbabwe July 04, 2008
O 071550Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY GABORONE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5108
INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
UNCLAS GABORONE 000552
DEPARTMENT FOR AF AND AF/S
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AU BC ZI
SUBJECT: BOTSWANA'S STATEMENT ON ZIMBABWE JULY 04, 2008
REF: GABORONE 547
1. The GOB Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
shared with the Embassy the official statement regarding the GOB's
position on the outcome of the June 27, 2008 Presidential run-off
election in Zimbabwe.
Begin Verbatim Official GOB Text:
1. The Government of the Republic of Botswana has been following the
events leading to, and the holding of the Presidential run-off
election on June 27, 2008 in the Republic of Zimbabwe.
2. During this period, Botswana expressed its concern about the
deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe and made repeated
calls on the authorities in that country to take necessary steps to
ensure a climate conducive to holding free and fair elections.
3. The atmosphere prevailing before the run-off election in Zimbabwe
was not conducive to the holding of a free and fair election, given
the escalating acts of violence and intimidation that resulted in
the loss of lives, destruction of property and displacement of
people from their homes. This eventually led to the withdrawal of
the MDC leader, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, from the run-off contest.
4. In response, the United Nations Security Council issued a
Presidential Statement on June 23, 2008 condemning the violent
campaign against political opposition in Zimbabwe and expressed
regret that the campaign of violence made it impossible for a free
and fir election to take place.
5. In addition, the roika of the SADC Organ, which met in the
Kingdo of Swazilandon June 25, 2008, advised that the corect
course of action under the circumstances wa a postponement of the
run-off election. Thi would have provided an opportunity for all
parties to engage in talks with the aim of finding the best possible
way of resolving their differences.
6. Notwithstanding the advice of the United Nations Security Council
and Troika of the SADC Organ, the authorities of Zimbabwe decided to
proceed with an election whose outcome was unlikely to enjoy
credibility and legitimacy, both in the region and internationally.
7. This has now come to pass, as the reports of the SADC Elections
Observer Mission, Pan-African Parliament and AU Observer Missions
8. These reports concluded, amongst others, that;
> the pre-election phase was characterised by politically motivated
violence, intimidation and displacement of the electorate;
> the process leading up to the presidential run-off election did
not conform to SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic
> the atmosphere prevailing in the country did not give rise to the
conduct of free, fair and credible elections;
> the result of the June 27, 2008 run-off election did not represent
the will of the people of Zimbabwe; and
> conditions should be put in place for the holding of free, fair
and credible elections as soon as possible in line with the African
Union Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections.
9. It is abundantly clear from these findings that the result of the
June 27, 2008 run-off election cannot be accepted, as it violates
the core principles of SADC, the African Union and the United
Nations. As a country that practices democracy and the rule of law,
Botswana does not, therefore, recognize the outcome of the
Presidential run-off election, and would expect other SADC member
states to do the same.
10. It is against this background that Botswana urges SADC to assume
its responsibilities by taking proactive steps that are consistent
with its principles and objectives. It is therefore Botswana's
position that Zimbabwe not be allowed to participate in SADC
meetings until such time that they demonstrate their commitment to
strictly adhere to the organisation's principles.
11. Such steps would enhance the credibility of SADC and provide an
enabling environment for the people of Zimbabwe to find a lasting
solution to the problems that confront them.
12. As a way forward, Botswana agrees with the AU position that
mediation efforts should continue. We wish to urge, however, that
such mediation efforts be expedited, given a defined time frame, and
conducted in an atmosphere of mutual trust and good faith, where
both parties are treated as equal partners.
End Verbatim Official GOB Text.