The government of Botswana has condemned the recent spate of arrests and harassment of presidential run-off candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, by the Zimbabwean police.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Friday, the repeated arrests and detentions are described as disturbing.
“Reports of the last two days about arrests and detentions in Zimbabwe, including repeated arrests and detentions of Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, presidential candidate in the upcoming run-off election, are disturbing,” the statement reads.
It further says that, “Botswana strongly holds the view that these actions are unhelpful as they aggravate tension, create an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion in the conduct of the election.”
The Foreign Affairs Ministry further says that the holding of a free and fair election is not only important for the people of Zimbabwe but also crucial to continued peace, stability and development in the SADC region.
Mr Tsvangirai, who beat ZANU-PF leader Robert Mugabe in the first round, was arrested and released three times in less than three days before he was ordered to stop campaigning.
“The Government of Botswana calls upon the Zimbabwean authorities to create a climate conducive to the holding of a free, fair and democratic election,” the statement concludes.