Botswana true friend - Mnangagwa

VICTORIA FALLS - President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has been praised for guiding Botswana towards deepening ties with Zimbabwe and for supporting the country’s efforts to be freed from the shackles of international sanctions.
Zimbabwean President Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa showered praises on Dr Masisi during a state banquet held in honour of the Botswana delegation to the 3rd session of the Botswana-Zimababwe Binational Commission Zimbabwe in Victoria Falls Thursday. Dr Mnangagwa said his country was grateful for Dr Masisi’s plea to last September’s United Nations general assembly for the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe.

That, he said, signified the “unbreakable bond” between Botswana and Zimbabwe in line with SADC founding fathers’ conviction that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”

Dr Mnangagwa said under President Masisi, ties between the two states were growing stronger, which provided a good foundation for a more integrated SADC in fulfilment of African Union Agenda 2063 aspirations.

He said global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and
terrorism had laid bare the need for collaboration between countries.

The Zimbabwean head of state said agricultural development and food security as well as innovation were areas the two countries planned to improve collaboration on.

Calling on Botswana companies to invest in Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa expressed the hope that the business forum held on the sidelines of session would improve trade links between the two nation’s private sectors. For his part, President Masisi said since assuming office four years ago, he had worked to
“change the course of action” of Botswana’s diplomatic approach towards Zimbabwe.

President Masisi said together with the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) leadership, he chose to gravitate towards better relations with Zimbabwe which would be of benefit to both states.
He said Botswana’s aspiration of creating a knowledge-based economy tallied with Zimbabwe’s
efforts of promoting innovation in tertiary institutions.

As such, knowledge and research were key areas for the two countries to build on, Dr Masisi said.

Calling for stronger trade links between the two states, President Masisi said multilateral cooperation instruments such as those of SADC, AU and UN; should start with Botswana and Zimbabwe cross-border
traders being free to access both countries.

He reiterated Botswana’s full support for Mozambique in the quest for peace in the Cabo Delgado region.

Peace in Mozambique would enable the SADC region to focus more on joint and mutually beneficial development projects, Dr Masisi said. BOPA