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Mugabe jets off to Botswana

by Staff reporter
28 Jun 2017 at 21:59hrs | Views
President Robert Mugabe is now in Botswana, where he will join the people of that country and other African leaders for the burial of Botswana's second president, Sir Ketumile Masire.

Mugabe, who is accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, was met on arrival at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone by Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Botswana, Thomas Mandigora, Botswana Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr Vincent Seretse and Zimbabwe Embassy staff.

The President left Harare today and was seen-off at the Harare International Airport by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, ministers; Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, Kembo Mohadi, Dr Joram Gumbo and the Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda and service chiefs.

In Mugabe's absence, Mphoko is the Acting President.

The late Sir Ketumile, who took over from founding father Seretse Khama, was president from 1980 to 1998.

Previously, he had served as vice president to Seretse Khama and Minister of Finance.

He oversaw the transition of Botswana from a backward economy to a flourishing nation with a high per capita income derived from its diamonds.

Zimbabwe is indebted to former President Masire and his predecessor for allowing liberation movements in Southern Africa to establish refugee camps in Botswana.

Botswana also allowed Zimbabwean refugees and freedom fighters transit to training bases in Zambia and Tanzania with some even taking employment positions in that country.

President Masire also played a significant role in the creation of the Southern African Development Coordination Committee (SADCC), which is now SADC.

He played crucial peace keeping and mediation roles in South Africa, Lesotho and other countries including the inter-Congolese dialogue.

Sir Masire played a crucial role in diplomacy, being appointed as an eminent person in regional and international missions, such being involved in the establishing of the facts on the Rwandan genocide.

He will be buried in his home area of Kanye, Southern Botswana tomorrow, 83 kilometres southwest of the capital, Gaborone.

Source - zbc