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Botswana Stopped 2008 Civil War in Zimbabwe, Study Claims

Published: September 24, 2013


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President Ian Khama’s government of Botswana successfully worked on and managed to stop civil war in Zimbabwe after the 2008 election, a scientific study argues.

The paper titled “Botswana and Pivotal Deterrance in the Zimbabwe 2008 Political Crisis,” argues that had it not been for Botswana’s deliberate actions, Zimbabwe would have plunged into civil war following the 2008-9 era.

The paper was researched and written by scholars at the University of Botswana: Obonye Jonas, David Mandiyanike, and Zibani Maundeni.botswana-flag

This article seeks to explain the pivotal role that Botswana played in the light of the Zimbabwe political crisis after the 2008 election. It argues that Botswana was able to apply pivotal deterrence in Zimbabwe between the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that claimed to have won the March 2008 presidential election and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU PF) that claimed to have won the June 2008 presidential re-run election in which Robert Mugabe stood alone. This article deploys the theory of ‘pivotal deterrence’ to investigate the influence that Botswana had over the MDC and ZANU PF.

The enduring amity of Southern Africa was nearly disrupted in 2008, when Zimbabwe nearly slid in a civil war following the disputed elections which returned Robert Mugabe to power after his arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the presidential race citing escalating state-sponsored violence. Read the full paper here

WPSN comments

30 Comments on "Botswana Stopped 2008 Civil War in Zimbabwe, Study Claims"

  1. Zanu pf allergic on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 11:44 am 

    Well researched thesis

  2. Mugabe on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 11:56 am 

    Civil war still highly likely.Good job by Bots but zato pf theiving bhichis r going to get whats coming to them. Zvakwana!

  3. Koool on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 12:08 pm 


  4. COMRADE OBAZZY on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 12:22 pm 

    Which civil war did Botswana stopped.Khama doesn,t know what is a war .He just grew up in a royal family and lived a colonialist type of life.How can that brain washed African do about ZIMBABWE than just to see our liberation war as ‘a bush war that ended 33 years ago’ Devilish talks.does nt value the blood of the sons of the soil who died for Zimbabwe.maybe he stopped civil war in Botswana not in ZIMBABWE.KHAMA needs mental decolonization before himself and his country is decolonized from mental slavery.

  5. juwachuwa on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 12:53 pm 

    Zimbabwean are too educated to engage in a civil war. Remember those days when some greedy people called for someone to leave peacefully or risk being removed violently, no one joined that person`s misguided utterances. remember also when someone called for what was called final push. Nobody joined that high level of stupidity

  6. Mavambo Kusile Dawn on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 12:55 pm 

    Zimeye, you could have done well summarizing the HOW part in this article instead of just referring us to the ful article.

  7. Lynette on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 1:38 pm 

    the problem is that the researchers do not know the mentality zimbabweans in general and zimbabwean political organisations. there will never be civil war in zimbabwe.

  8. Fatso on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 1:52 pm 

    Never say never,as long as elections are stolen the chances will still be there of a civil war.

  9. Zim citizen on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 1:56 pm 

    Poorly written article. How can u refer us to another article? It seemed the reporter didnt even understand the article himself

  10. Pedzi on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 1:56 pm 

    Never say never …. just say not yet

  11. do yo own research on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 2:21 pm 

    if you have not done you own research, do not shoot someone else’s research. what research have you done to counter this said research. civil war is also not about being educated or not. its about if you are a coward or you are brave. zimbabweans are COWARDS who hide behind being educated. there are plenty reseasons they could have stood up against the current ditactorship, but, they just look and call themselves “academics”. thousands have perished becoz of chorela. what did the gvt do? they blamed the usa for it. the solution was plenty clean water. wake up zimbabweans.

  12. Ndetshu on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 2:28 pm 

    Nonsense. Who is capable of waging a civil war? Do yo own, it’s not Zimbabweans who are cowards but the sellouts in MDC-T. They though the British and Americans were going to fight for them.

  13. Samora on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 2:49 pm 

    Do u MDC-T sellout bandits actually believe this hogwash! Tiny, illiterate and chronically xenophobic Botswana actually worked hard to avate a civil war in Zimbabwe. Believe this n u might as well believe that it was not Jesus who died for us, instead it was the Devil.

  14. Hlafunana Magade on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 2:50 pm 

    What a an afternoon dream! Just an abuse of journalism and people’s minds! Khama averting a civil war in Zimbabwe! Who was going to fight who? Tswangirai ever fighting Mugabe or Chamisa fighting his own father who is a ZNA inteligence officer or the populist lawyer Biti ever saying yes enough is enough lets fight? Ha ha ha …. How and from where really? Dont be fooled. Even the imperialists themselves are not willing to remove Zanupf. How would they allow Nikuv an Israeli company to help Zanupf
    if they wanted Zanupf out of office? Maybe there is no Nikuv. Its just yet another imagination by MDC-T. There s just too many lies political hallucinations and day dreamings from some journalists.

  15. CHANDO KUPISA on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 3:17 pm 

    Nxa! what trash,for all we know is that Chimatama ran away from Zimbabwe when he lost the rerun in 2008 and took refugee somewhere in Botswana,can that be classified as civil war?

  16. aggrey gumisai on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 4:30 pm 

    Unholy crap if you ask me. Civil war is coming to Botswana once the people realise that Ian is part of the western empire

  17. ksuksu on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 5:14 pm 

    Khama and his silly Bostwana did not avert any civil war in Zimbabwe. They instead tried to create a civil war but they failed. Their solders and the police force brutally assaulted Zimbabwean boarder jumpers who were running away from difficult situations in Zimbabwe. The soldiers actually said it clearly to the unfortunate boarder jumpers that they must go back to Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe. These ruthless and brutal thugs calling themselves the Bostwana Army actually assauted even Zimbabwean ladies with valid travel documents. They are such a shameful lot. They are the reason why the united nations set up a camp at plumtree boarder post to help those who were the victims of these terrible soldiers. The only crime that these Zimbabweans had committed in the shallow minds of these soldiers was running away from Zimbabwe instead off forcifully removing Mugabe. Stop telling us nonsense about Bostwana averting a civil war in Zimbabwe, they actually failed to create it.

  18. Gondo on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 6:06 pm 

    All who support ZANU pf are stupid monkeys, poor upstairs, looters, marders and you are proud of it??? nyangwe iri mari ngaigare. yekuba, kuuraya, utsinye. Ini ndinonyara kutonga vanhu vasingandide. do you really feel good you ZANU maggots??

  19. webster on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 6:13 pm 

    They were agitating for it & were shamed. Zimbabwesns may differ widely plitically but will never stoop that law. The Roy Benets of this world have also toyed with that idea but still failed.

  20. webster on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 6:20 pm 

    They were agitating for it & were shamed. Zimbabwesns may differ widely plitically but will never stoop that low. The Roy Benets of this world have also toyed with that idea but still failed. Our democracy may not be e most perfect but truth is we will get there without e barbaric option of butchering each other.

  21. Mafirakureva on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 7:38 pm 

    Whats scientific about this silly research…ndiani aisimudza musoro nagushungo nemauto edu kaBotswana kanorikitwa nejet one naPerence Shiri ari ega its Botswana which tried to incite the alleged civil war munoti hatizvizivi nhai??

  22. The First on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 8:08 pm 

    Thats nonsense Zim are jus peace loving people

  23. Misheck Nyazenga on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 8:14 pm 

    Its absolute nonsense to say khama averted civil war in Zimbabwe. This Maundeni who is said to have conducted the study is bootlicking the Botswana gvt to enhance opportunities to get citzenship since he is Kenyan.

  24. Triple xxx on Tue, 24th Sep 2013 11:51 pm 

    Academics vanonwa mvura ine sewerage ne******** mustreet. Shame on you. You are worse off as compared to the pple you undermine. They have got intact economies, industries and governments. Half of Bots is a desert but they do not even starve, yet imi munongowawata kuti takafunda asi chamabudisa hapana. Look how dirty HARARE is. When it rains ndiyo mvura yamunenge muchinwa iyoyo.

  25. chats byo on Wed, 25th Sep 2013 5:18 am 

    zimbabwe is an indigenous economy.if u go to war who wl hustle money food etc?we cnt afford to go to war our famillies wl starve!

  26. Gclem from Africa on Thu, 26th Sep 2013 6:39 am 

    You idiots, it wasn’t Tsvangirayi going to start the civil war but Zanu pf,cos they can’t stand being beaten by the mdc. remember they delayed results for the 2008 elections for many weeks whilst they were getting weapons from China…there was a ship full of war weapons that was refused access in Mozambique, SA,Botswana and Namibia and later ended up going through Angola.. mdc is peace loving cos it represents the people of zim that’s why they opted for the GNU even if they had won the 2008 election.. Zanu likes blood that’s why they let the people they govern die of disease and untold suffering and that is why they cheat elections and the only reality us that if they can’t rig successfully they are even ready to start a civil war..

  27. andy on Thu, 26th Sep 2013 7:10 am 

    absolute hogwash. the shameful journalists we have!!!

  28. Mugabe on Thu, 26th Sep 2013 8:55 am 

    Fools think that war wil be waged on behalf of mdc…it will be waged on behalf of a free dzimbabwe

  29. maita on Thu, 26th Sep 2013 9:50 am 

    Comrade Oabzy thinks if we stay well we are colonised. He wants us to stay in hunger and poverty. Botswana whether you like it or not is a better country to live than Zimbabwe that is why metsi (bottled water) along Francistown Gaberone road is sold by Zims because you rarely see a Batswana vendor. We have been made vendors so whereever we go we carry it on. pirated Cds in Botswana are sold by Zimbabweans, airtime on streets is sold by zimbabweans, tomoatoes on the streets are sold by Zimbabweans and you still talk of colonialism state of Botswana so what, they are independent whether you like it or not. Actually they have a presidential jet but gwara renyu rinoda kushandisa Air Zimbabwe kusvika yabhuroka.

  30. maita on Thu, 26th Sep 2013 9:50 am 

    Sure a war may happen but not by MDC but the people of Zimbabwe because this fear which make them choose monsters will soon end.

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