Tuesday, January 28, 2014

'Khama Seeking Attention of the EU' Says Zimbabwe Information Minister

‘Khama seeking attention of the EU’

January 28, 2014
Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

GOVERNMENT has said recent comments by President Ian Khama about the July 31, 2013 elections overwhelmingly won by Zanu-PF and President Mugabe are a ploy by the Botswana leader to get the European Union to extend its illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.The EU is scheduled to meet on February 19 to decide whether or not to extend the discredited embargo first imposed in 2002.

President Khama was quoted at the weekend condemning Zimbabwe’s elections, adding that Botswana would no longer participate in Sadc and AU election observer missions.

Yesterday Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, said president Khama was seeking the attention of the EU.

“We are of course aware that the EU’s annual review of its illegal sanctions is scheduled for around February 19. Nobody should be surprised that the usual voices that have traditionally supported the self-indulgent and evil Anglo-Saxon sanctions about this time of the year since 2003 are at it again ahead of the February 19 EU meetings in Brussels.

“While all this is unfortunate, we are heartened not only by the fact that the progressive world has remained resolutely opposed to the illegal sanctions, which have devastated the livelihoods of ordinary Zimbabweans, but also by the fact that we are beginning to hear voices of reason against the sanctions from within the ranks of the EU itself,” he said.

Prof Moyo said the July 31, 2013 elections preoccupying president Khama were history to progressive Zimbabweans.

“As to the specific comments about Zimbabwe attributed to president Khama, we note that those comments deal with a matter that is well and truly behind us and by ‘us’ I mean everyone concerned.

“The 31 July 2013 elections are history. Not only have the people of Zimbabwe spoken in their overwhelming numbers in favour of President Mugabe and Zanu-PF, but also our Constitutional Court has spoken; as have Sadc and AU election observers.

“Everyone has heard the verdicts from these compelling voices except the politically deaf in our midst or those with hidden agendas with nefarious objectives.

“So if anyone is politically deaf and has not heard the very loud and resounding verdict of the people and of progressive forces around the world, then that is surely not our problem,” he emphasised.

Prof Moyo said while Zimbabwe had its own opinions about the conduct of elections and other governance issues in Botswana, it had chosen to reserve its comments as a sign of respect of its neighbour’s sovereignty.

“It is common cause that Zimbabweans have their own opinions about Botswana and its governance issues including whether Botswana holds free, fair and credible elections; whether Botswana’s economy provides equal opportunities to all its citizens, especially among the indigenous communities.

“By and large Zimbabweans keep their opinions on these and other related issues to themselves and never grandstand about them in the media. I am sure that will continue to be the position of the generality of Zimbabweans because we believe in being our brother’s keeper. “To us solidarity with our neighbours means and counts for a lot,” he said.

Prof Moyo said Zimbabwe valued its relationship with Botswana given the role it played in the country’s liberation struggle.

“As a Government, we value our relationship with Botswana and respect both its people and leadership.

“This has been so since our country’s liberation struggle when Botswana, under the exemplary leadership of its founding President Sir Seretse Khama, was at the front-line and provided pivotal support for the fight for our independence.

“Therefore the history of our relationship is well-founded, well-known and very strong.

Otherwise we as Government have no opinion about governance issues in Botswana because we know that these issues are entirely the sovereign responsibility of the people of Botswana to which they are fully entitled as we are to ours,” Prof Moyo said.

No comments: