Botswana president Seretse Khama Ian Khama has mocked political ongoings in neighbouring Zimbabwe in the aftermath of Mugabe’s firing of his vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In a Tuesday morning post on his official Facebook wall barely 24-hours after the firing, the 64-year-old outgoing leader said, “Another Vice President has lost their job as a result of a fall from GRACE.”
‘Fall from GRACE’ being in reference to how former vice-president Joice Mujuru was also fired by Mugabe because of political differences with Mugabe’s wife, Grace.
Three hours after his post, it had attracted over 138 comments and had been shared over 230 times. Most commenters seemed to enjoy the President’s observation whiles other sought his support to oust Mugabe – democratically.
Mugabe fired his vice-president on Monday after a long fallout with First Lady Grace Mugabe. Mnangagwa was seen as a frontrunner to succeed Mugabe in a role that Mrs Mugabe is also believed to be interested in. His supporters reportedly booed at Grace during an event leading to calls for his sack.
But an official communication confirming his sack put the reason for Mugabe’s decision down to disloyalty. Information Minister Simon Khaya Moyo’s statement said the former vice-president had exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect and deceitfulness.
The most recent spat between the two leaders when when Mugabe last month accused Khama of being responsible for the failure of Southern Africa to retain the African Union chairmanship post. The country’s foreign minister was a candidate but lost to Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat.
The Botswana government in response said Mugabe’s comments were pardonable because of his advanced age. “The Ministry chooses not to comment any further out of respect for President Mugabe’s advanced age and as such, understands that allowances need to be made,” a statement read.
Long before that, Khama had broken ‘diplomatic rules’ in September 2016 when he asked Mugabe to step down after leading Zimbabwe for so long. Speaking a Reuters interview about Mugabe’s continued stay in power he said: “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. 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 added.
He steps down when next Botswana goes to the polls, Mugabe on the other hand will be on the ballot for the ruling Zanu-PF when elections are held in 2018.