Zimbabwe, Botswana to ‘fix strained relations’ after Mugabe exit – report

Zimbabwes President Emmerson Mnangagwa ,left, is congratulated by Botswana President Ian Khama at his inauguration ceremony in Harare, Zimbabwe, Friday, Nov.24, 2017.Mnangagwa is been sworn in as Zimbabwe's president after Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday, ending his 37 year rule.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Harare – Botswana’s government is reportedly set to “fix strained relations” with Zimbabwe once the current engagements between the two nations foreign affairs ministers are completed.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the two countries were set to “sign various memoranda of understanding in the coming few months”.

This came as Botswana’s minister of international affairs and co-operation, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi “conveyed a congratulatory message” to President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his official offices in Harare this week.

Venson-Moitoithat said that the two neighbouring countries were going to work together in areas of co-operation after years of strained relations under former president Robert Mugabe.

“…I will be discussing with my colleague the foreign affairs minister and we will be discussing a lot of memoranda of understanding between our two countries that we have to speed up and exchange in the next few months,” Venson-Moitoi was quoted as saying.

The two countries had had strained relations for years, with Botswana President Ian Khama said to be one of the loud critics of Mugabe.

Last year Khama made headlines after he called ageing Mugabe, who was still in power then, to step down.

“They [Zimbabweans] have got plenty of good people there who have got good leadership qualities who could take over,” Khama was quoted as saying at the time.

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