Botswana President, Ian Khama says President Robert Mugabe must step down now. “Without doubt. He should have done it years ago.They have got plenty of people there who have got good leadership qualities who could take over,” Khama (63) told Reuters.”It is obvious that at his age and the state Zimbabwe is in, he’s not really able to provide the leadership that could get it out of its predicament,” Khama said, in comments that breach an African diplomatic taboo banning criticism of fellow leaders.
Khama said the unrest in Zimbabwe was forcing more and more Zimbabweans to leave the country, he added. Botswana is home only to an estimated 100,000 Zimbabweans – a fraction of the 3 million believed to be in South Africa – although this is still enough to strain public services in a nation of 2.3 million people.
Botswana’s jails held “significant numbers” of Zimbabweans, Khama said. “It is a big
concern,” the British-trained former general said. “It is a problem for all of us in the region – and it is a burden. There’s no doubt about that.”In the latest controversy over his health, Mugabe left a summit of southern African leaders at the end of August without warning and went to Dubai, fuelling rumours he had been taken gravely ill or may even have died.
Khama did not discuss any specifics of Mugabe’s condition at the meeting but said his counterpart looked tired. “We’re talking about a 92-year-old man and there’s just so much you can do at that age to try and keep up.”