President Mokgweetsi Masisi

Botswana says it stands with Zimbabwe in the face of its “complex” situation and has called for the removal of illegal sanctions imposed by the West.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Tuesday, upon his arrival in Gaborone from the 32nd African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said his country was fully behind the statement issued by Sadc this week in which Sadc chairman and Namibian President Hage Geingob called for the removal of sanctions and lent weight to Zimbabwe following weeks of onslaught by the opposition and foreign forces meant to isolate and punish the country.

And President Masisi underscored commitment to fight in Zimbabwe’s corner.

“In solidarity with Zimbabwe, we prepared a communiqué issued by the Southern African Development Community and as Botswana we stand by it,” said President Masisi.

He said it was extremely difficult for Zimbabwe to operate a modern economy without accessing lines of credit.

President Masisi said there was need to appreciate the complexity of the situation in Zimbabwe.

“As the AU and Sadc we don’t want to interfere in Zimbabwe but try to give support to Zimbabwe to be orderly and peaceful. To do that you have to appreciate that the situation there is complex,” he said.

The pushback by Sadc was made early this week, with the region expressing solidarity with the Government of the people of Zimbabwe, and calling upon the international community to unconditionally lift all sanctions imposed on the country.

The Sadc Heads of State and Government also noted that the Government had commenced dialogue with all stakeholders in the country with a view to strengthening economic transformation, and called upon all stakeholders to support the process.

Sadc condemned “in the strongest terms”  pre-planned and well coordinated violence perpetrated by the opposition MDC-Alliance and its foreign funded civic society affiliates which led to the loss life  and properties.

On January 14-16, the opposition instigated nationwide violence that saw six people, including police officers, die while property worth millions was destroyed.

Government installations, fixtures and vehicles were also destroyed.herald