- Members of a team employed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) organ on politics, defence and security allegedly are to be sent to Botswana's capital on 18 December to investigate claims that Botswana is providing military training for youths from Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The claim was made by the Zimbabwean government during a meeting of the SADC Troika in Mozambique on 5 November. Botswana has denied the claims and invited the SADC commission to come and see for themselves.
The terms of reference for the team sent to investigate the alleged training camps were agreed at an extra-ordinary SADC summit on 9 November. They basically call for the team to establish whether the bases exist and whether related training programmes are being run.
According to sources, it is expected that the team will attend "stage-managed witness presentations" in Harare, but this is not part of the terms of reference agreed upon.
Swaziland currently holds the rotating chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security and Dr John Kunene, the principal Secretary in Swaziland's Ministry of Defence, is set to head the team to Botswana.
Relations between Botswana and Zimbabwe have continued to deteriorate since Batswana President Ian Khama came to power last April. Mr Khama has spoken out against Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's sham one-man presidential run-off on 27 June and called for fresh elections in Zimbabwe under the supervision of the SADC, AU and UN.
This stance has made the Batswana President unpopular with Robert Mugabe, who has shown great reluctance to genuinely share power with the President of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai.
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