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I Asked Mugabe To Retire – Mogae

FORMER Botswana president Festus Mogae this week said he asked Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe 10 years ago to retire.

Mogae said if he and other southern African leaders had their way, Mugabe should have quit.
“If we had our way, President Mugabe would have retired 10 yeas ago, and would have retired a hero, but unfortunately he chose the other way,” Mogae told journalists in Gaborone after winning the 2008 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership on Monday.
He said he has been frustrated with Mugabe’s long stay in power, which has resulted in economic and political collapse in Zimbabwe.
Mogae retired last April after exhausting his constitutional two-term limit to give way to then Vice-President Ian Khama.
After winning the Mo Ibrahim Prize, Mogae called on African leaders to embrace transparency and accountability in governance. He urged the leaders to follow sound macro-economic planning and prudent financial management.
He told the leaders to respect the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.
Meanwhile, Khama has written to Sadc chairman, South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, proposing that the Zimbabwe crisis be resolved through a new presidential election pitting Mugabe against MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Gaborone, which has been openly critical of Mugabe, accused the Zimbabwean leader of negotiating in “bad faith” in power-sharing talks in the letter that was copied to AU chairman and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete as well as to United Nations secretary-general Ban ki-Moon.
The Botswana government said it was of the view that “the only viable option to the political impasse is for the people of Zimbabwe, as enshrined in a truly democratic dispensation, to be the ones to decide who their true leaders should be.
“In this regard, the only way forward is a re-run of the presidential election under international supervision in order to avoid a repetition of the violence and political intimidation that characterised the failed June 27, 2008 presidential run-off election.” – Staff Writer/AFP.

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