“Look at the people’s reaction to Mugabe stepping down”: Ian Khama advises Mnangagwa

President Ian Khama [L] with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe
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Botswana’s President Ian Khama has reacted to Robert Mugabe’s resignation as Zimbabwe’s President after 37 years in power. Khama who was a fierce critic of Mugabe, said that he was not sorry that the nonagenarian had lost power.

Said Khama:

I don’t see any reason why I should wish him well. Because if I have any sympathy for him, I would say to myself but didn’t he have any sympathy for his own people? But if he cared nothing for his own people then why should I care for him and I don’t wish him ill either. I just say lets leave him alone and let him just try and enjoy the rest of his life.

Khama said that Mugabe left office in an undignified manner. He also advised incoming President Emmerson Mnangagwa to embrace democracy in all its forms and to revive Zimbabwe’s economy which he said has so much potential. Said Khama:

I would say to him look at the reaction to the people of Zimbabwe to Mugabe stepping down. And people now have high expectations. They have tasted democracy even if it was limited by being able to do thing they were not able to do in the past. Being able to go into the streets to protest, being able to say their views, freedom of speech, the media being able to write and say what they want without any crackdown. Really he should embrace democracy in all its forms, Zimbabwe has got the potential of being an economic powerhouse. And even though it took Mugabe 37 years to bring it down to the economic chaos Zimbabwe is today. It won’t take that long to bring it back up again because there is so much potential. The people are so innovative and hardworking. I’m sure investors will be tripping over themselves to come back into that country.

Listen to Khama’s full interview with BBC Africa below: