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Ian Khama Asked to Intervene in Zimbabwe Crisis

Bostwana president Ian Khama.

A coalition of Botswana civil organization has called for an end to police brutality in Zimbabwe and asked outgoing SADC chairperson, Ian Khama to intervene.

The Botswana Civil Society Solidarity Coalition for Zimbabwe says the brutal beating of ordinary Zimbabweans during recent peaceful protests should stop.

The organization's spokesperson, Tlasetso Palime says it is time Botswana president and SADC chairperson, Ian Khama to act on the unfolding Zimbabwe crisis.

"We feel that the head of SADC intervenes but obviously he cannot take an initiative own his own as SADC has other members. From our statement we hope that other states will see the need to intervene."

BOCISCOZ urges the Zimbabwe government to uphold the rule of law in the face of rising dissent where protests have been the order of the day.

The organization, which brings together trade unions, human rights organization; Ditshwanelo, Botswana Council of Churches and other Non-Governmental Organisations, says the President Robert Mugabe administration must restore the rule of law.

It calls on the government to reverse a recent import ban on certain goods which, BOCISCOZ argues, denies many Zimbabweans, particularly cross border traders, a decent living in the face of rising unemployment.

Additionally, the civil organizations say the ban is against the SADC trade protocol.

Meanwhile, Palime says it is aware that a group of Zimbabweans were recently denied the right to march to their country's embassy in Gaborone.

"Where have to find out why they were turned down and if they had followed the right procedures."

One of the concerned Zimbabweans, Mr Chris Madondo says they are taking the matter to court after the police denied them the right to march to the embassy and present a petition to Zimbabwe's ambassador to Botswana, Mr. Thomas Madingora.

"We have engaged our lawyer after we were denied permission to march."

BOCISCOZ says the situation has reached a level where SADC cannot turn a blind eye as it has implications on regional peace and stability.

Report on Botswana Coalition Filed By Martin Ngwenya
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