Masisi reprimands Botswana MPs over ‘xenophobic’ comments against Zimbabweans

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GABORONE, Botswana – With legislators fearful of a possible invasion as Botswana and Zimbabwe ponder the use of national identity cards (IDs) to cross borders, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has warned Members of Parliament (MPs) against commotion incitement and discriminating against Zimbabwe.

Speaking in Parliament, where he was responding to the Budget Speech, Masisi told MPs to be careful not to discriminate against Zimbabweans.

“You didn’t say anything when we did this arrangement with Namibia, but just because it is Zimbabweans you are discriminating them, you are belittling them, you are xenophobic.

“If we can check your phones now you will find that some of you have their numbers and have illegally hired them,” he said.

Masisi was responding to a comment from Francistown South legislator, Wynter Mmolotsi, who openly resented the possibility of using IDs as a travel document for citizens of both countries.

Since Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Kusi Ideas Festival statement last year, legislators have expressed concerns over the lack of consultation, fearing a potential Zimbabwean invasion.

Following the backlash, government assured Batswana that there was no signed agreement between Botswana and Zimbabwe on the use of IDs to cross borders. Mnegi