Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi and President Mnangagwa

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi arrived in the country yesterday for the inaugural session of the Bi-Nation Commission Summit between the two countries set for today.

President Masisi was welcomed at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by his counterpart President Mnangagwa, Cabinet Ministers, Service chiefs, senior Government officials and some ambassadors from Sadc countries accredited to Zimbabwe.

Eight agreements in various fields of mutual cooperation are expected to be signed as relations between the two sister Republics continue to flourish.

President Mnangagwa and his counterpart are expected to address the Summit today after which agreements and Memoranda of Understanding will be signed.

Addressing the Ministerial session of the Bi-National Commission before the arrival of President Masisi yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said Harare and Gaborone were committed to enhance ties to ensure prosperity of the two countries.

He said it was important to address areas lagging behind in terms of economic development.

“It is important that we meet in order to conclude issues discussed by our officials in preparation for the Heads of State Summit to be held tomorrow (today),” said Dr Moyo.

“The fact that our relations are experiencing a paradigm shift is a historical marker that should be harnessed and cherished. I am encouraged by the work that has gone in ensuring that the inaugural session has tangible deliverables through the implementation of decisions and commitments made last year.

“I am also pleased that eight agreements will be signed during the Heads of State Summit. The agreements which will be signed are evidence of our firm political commitment to concretise the long standing, historical and friendly ties between our two great countries.

He welcomed a decision by Air Botswana to increase flights into Harare.

“Let me further welcome the step by Air Botswana to actually open two direct weekly flights between Harare and Gaborone. This will surely facilitate the movement of our people between the two countries and thus facilitating tourism and business exchanges across our borders. This development on the transport and communication front will be complemented by our plan to establish a one stop border post at

Plumtree-Ramokgwebana as well as at Kazungula. The economic integration of our two countries will undoubtedly reduce the imports that will be felt within the region and even beyond. As such, the establishment of these one stop border posts is a major project that we must urgently deliver on.”

Dr Moyo hailed a donation of medicines by the Botswana Government to Zimbabwe saying it would go a long way in addressing the needs of Zimbabwe’s health sector.

“It is evident that on the part of Zimbabwe and Botswana there is a will and drive to ensure that our two friendly countries achieve sustainable development and economic prosperity that will whilst commendable, will only deliver tangible results if we closely work together in addressing areas where progress has been lagging behind,” he said.

Botswana’s International Affairs and Cooperation Minister Unity Dow emphasised the need to consolidate ties.

“In Botswana we have Vision 2036 while Zimbabwe has Vision 2030. Our concerted efforts should be driving towards successfully championing the pillars and targets of our long terms visions. In addition, we belong to the same regional and continental bodies whose agendas are inter-linked.”
The meeting was attended by Cabinet ministers from both Zimbabwe and Botswana.chronicle