- Masisi yet to issue Mna gagwa congratulatory message
- BDP says they are still await reports
- Doubts over Masisi attending Mnagagwa inauguration emerge
Despite the close ties between the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF, neither the BDP nor President Mokgweetsi Masisi have sent a congratulatory message to ZANU-PF following the controversial re-election of Emmerson Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe’s recent presidential elections. Sources within the BDP suggest that concerns over the fairness of the election have contributed to the hesitation.
President Masisi and Mnangagwa are considered close allies, but the BDP is reportedly divided on whether President Masisi or the party should issue a message of congratulations. Observer missions from the US Embassy in Zimbabwe, the UK embassy, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have expressed concerns about the conduct and fairness of the election.
“There is still consultation within government and the party as to whether a statement should be issued or not. The party is also trying to take its time to see how best they can proceed. You do not want to have President Masisi being brought in the same light of what Mnangagwa is accused of,” stated a high-ranking BDP member.
During the 2018 Zimbabwean presidential elections, claims of irregularities also surfaced. However, President Masisi and some BDP members attended President Mnangagwa’s inauguration.
BDP spokesperson Kagelelo Kentse mentioned that the party had dispatched an observer mission to Zimbabwe, and a comprehensive report would be presented to the party’s leadership before any official statement is made.
In contrast, South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has already issued a statement in support of ZANU-PF.