BOTSWANA President Mokgweetsi Masisi has pledged stronger relations with Zimbabwe, saying he was not only going to strengthen the relations that existed in the past, but improve on them.
by BLESSED MHLANGA
Masisi spoke to the media soon after meeting President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday evening, where the Zimbabwean President also extended his congratulations to the new Batswana President.
“I am not only following up in the relations that existed, but deepening it, realising it. I came with a team of three ministers; Minister of International Affairs and Co-operation who used to be the Minister of Investment Trade and Industry.
“I also came with the Minister of Transport and Communications, Minister of Defence and Security … we discussed party matters and our commitment to collaborate at party level, so it was a very rewarding experience,” he said.
Zimbabwe-Botswana relations had been frosty during former President Robert Mugabe’s era, who was always being censured by former Botswana President Ian Khama.
However, following Mugabe’s fall, Zimbabwe has made two important visits to Botswana — a State visit and a working visit to the Kazungula Bridge — paving way to smooth diplomatic relations.
Mnangagwa also extended a State visit invitation to Masisi, who says he has since gladly accepted the invite and would soon be back to Zimbabwe for a more leisurely visit.
Masisi was welcomed at the airport by Vice-President Kembo Mohadi, acting Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Simon Khaya Moyo, Harare Metropolitan minister, Miriam Chikukwa, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Labour and Social Welfare minister Petronella Kagonye, several diplomats and senior government officials.