Pretoria – Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi, who is on a state visit to Zimbabwe, has reiterated calls for the removal of sanctions against the Harare government.
In a video circulated on social media, Masisi is seen addressing a crowd using a loud hailer, standing next to Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Viva Zimbabwe, viva Botswana. President Mnangagwa and I have a wonderful relationship. You must know. You must see it. You must feel it. You must watch it. I was telling him, we just came from our elective congress in our ruling party and Zanu PF was represented very well,” said Masisi.
“We are the ruling party in Botswana, the BDP [Botswana Democratic Party]. You are the ruling party in Zimbabwe. The two ruling parties have relations, they are friends, and the two of us belong to a movement of former liberation movements of southern Africa.
“That is why Botswana continues to call for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe. These sanctions must go. They must go forever. They are also sanctions against Botswana. If Zimbabwe is sanctioned, Botswana is sanctioned. We do not like that. So, tell your friends that we do not like these sanctions.”
A statement issued in Gaborone by Botswana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier this week said Masisi would be in Zimbabwe for three days, until Saturday.
“This follows a successful state visit to Botswana by the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in 2018,” the Botswana officials said.
The statement added that Botswana and Zimbabwe share a common history, culture, and family ties which pre-date the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations in 1983.
During the visit, the two presidents are scheduled to deliberate on “issues of mutual interest and explore ways and means of further deepening the relations between the two countries”.
Botswana and Zimbabwe signed an agreement establishing the Bi-National Commission (BNC) in 2018, to promote and explore cooperation in a number of areas such as education, agriculture, defence and security, energy, the environment, and health.
While in Zimbabwe, Masisi would officiate at the annual Zimbabwe Agricultural Show on Friday.
The Botswana leader is accompanied by First Lady Neo Jane Masisi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lemogang Kwape, Minister of Agriculture Fidelis Macdonald Molao and some senior government officials.