Zim strikes back at Botswana criticism

Zim strikes back at Botswana criticism

JOHANNESBURG – Zimbabwe’s state-controlled press has reacted angrily to criticism of President Robert Mugabe by a former Botswana cabinet minister.

Patrick Balopi described Mugabe as “greedy” over the weekend, saying he had ruined Zimbabwe’s economy. In a front page lead in the state-run Herald newspaper, Balopi, a former home affairs minister in the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), was described as “ill-informed”.Meanwhile Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Botswana, Phelekezela Mphoko said: “For Mr Balopi to evaluate himself as more intellectual than the Zimbabwean electorate and issue such an arrogant and hostile statement against President Robert Mugabe is unacceptable.The electorate in Zimbabwe is very literate and politically mature (enough) to make decisions that benefit them.”Speaking at a BDP rally in Gaborone’s White City Stadium over the weekend, Balopi had described Mugabe as “a greedy leader who does not have the interests of his people at heart”.He said Mugabe had “run down the economy of Zimbabwe”, adding, “but still he doesn’t want to leave office”.Relations between Zimbabwe and Botswana have been frayed since Zimbabwe’s 2002 presidential election when the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum described the elections, that saw Mugabe triumph over opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, as “not being a free expression of the will of the people”.- Nampa-SapaIn a front page lead in the state-run Herald newspaper, Balopi, a former home affairs minister in the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), was described as “ill-informed”.Meanwhile Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Botswana, Phelekezela Mphoko said: “For Mr Balopi to evaluate himself as more intellectual than the Zimbabwean electorate and issue such an arrogant and hostile statement against President Robert Mugabe is unacceptable.The electorate in Zimbabwe is very literate and politically mature (enough) to make decisions that benefit them.”Speaking at a BDP rally in Gaborone’s White City Stadium over the weekend, Balopi had described Mugabe as “a greedy leader who does not have the interests of his people at heart”.He said Mugabe had “run down the economy of Zimbabwe”, adding, “but still he doesn’t want to leave office”.Relations between Zimbabwe and Botswana have been frayed since Zimbabwe’s 2002 presidential election when the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum described the elections, that saw Mugabe triumph over opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, as “not being a free expression of the will of the people”.- Nampa-Sapa

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