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Zimbabweans Praise Ian Khama for Urging Mugabe to Step Down

FILE: President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, right, attends a swearing-in ceremony for a second and final term as Botswana president at the National Assembly buildings in Gaborone, Botswana, Oct. 28 2014.

Some Zimbabweans have commended Botswana President Ian Khama’s calls for President Robert Mugabe to step down though they are skeptical that the 92-year-old Zimbabwean leader, who has been in power for 36 years, will resign before the end of his presidential term in 2018.

President Mugabe, who is currently attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York, says the West, which imposed targeted sanctions on him and his inner circle, is pursuing a regime change agenda.

On Wednesday, he urged the West to remove the restrictive sanctions saying they are hurting his country’s efforts to achieve development goals set by the United Nations.

Zimbabweans have been protesting outside the United Nations headquarters urging him to step down for allegedly failing to properly run the country.

About 150 people, who responded to Studio 7 Facebook threads on Mr. Kama’s remarks said they supported the Botswana president openness over the Zimbabwe leader’s 36-year stay in office.

One of them, Taona Denhere, wrote, “It’s been long overdue and in the interest of ordinary long-suffering 13 million people of Zimbabwe, I think he (Khama) is absolutely on the right side of history by demanding that President Mugabe should step down.”

His views were echoed by the majority of respondents like Nomis Nigel Kokomuch, who wrote, “He (Khama) was right as he always says that. Due to their bad governance Zimbos (Zimbabweans) are scattered all over the world and in Botswana as well. They are now committing crimes there, thereby giving law enforcement agents of those countries hard times.”

But some respondents like Effort Makusha said Khama has nothing to do with Zimbabwe. “Cde Mugabe must continue with his presidency and it is time for him to be more stronger amidst national crisis and in the long standing battle against neo-colonialism. Our culture and tradition are important factors behind the foundation and solidarity of our nation … Any attempt on these means immorality in Zimbabwe so it all thumps up to Cde Mugabe who is working hard to preserve the two.”

Several Zanu PF officials and party activists have dismissed Khama’s remarks as unfortunate.

In a brief tweet, Professor Jonathan Moyo wrote, “Tell President Khama about Karma!”

Another Zanu PF activist, Togarepi Pupurai, had no kind words for Khama on Twitter.

“Khama needs mental examination … Parroting his British forefathers hate for African luminaries. RG (Robert Mugabe) is the President of Zim (Zimbabwe), Khama go hang.”

Some Zimbabweans say Mr. Mugabe is to blame for the current social, economic and political problems bedeviling the southern African nation.

Zanu PF says President Mugabe was democratically elected by the people of Zimbabwe in 2013 and therefore he has to serve his five year term. He is already the party’s sole candidate for the party’s 2018 presidential election though he will be 94 at that time.