President of Botswana to visit Zambia tomorrow

The president of Botswana Seretse Ian Khama  will visit Zambia on Wedensday.

A statement from the Zambian presidency says Khama is on Wednesday expected to hold closed-door talks with Rupiah Banda, president of Zambia.

Khama is set arrive in Lusaka on Wednesday morning for consultationson a number of issues affecting the Southern African Community Development (SADC) region. 

President Banda is chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation – a body responsible for conflict resolution in the region.

 Khama of Botswana is the only leader in the region who has publicly opposed the continuos reign of Zimbwabwean president Robert Mugabe.

But last week he was in South Africa where he called for the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe.

“We appeal to those who have placed sanctions to remove them in order to give motivation. There is goodwill expressed by both sides, even if there are concerns. We also have concerns but let’s remove them (sanctions) to demonstrate good faith and see where we go from there,” Khama told journalists on a state visit to South Africa.

Khama said Zimbabwe needed to be given a chance to “heal” and the sanctions were not helping that process. “I was one of the people who were sceptical in the beginning … but the sanctions as it were are now starting to be a hindrance and we have to call on those imposing them to reconsider their position because the situation is better in Zimbabwe,” he added.

Khama said he did not see the urgency of elections in Zimbabwe which Mugabe and Tsvangirai have said could be as early as next year, insisting the focus should be more on concluding the drawing up of a new constitution – a process which has been dragging along at a snail’s pace.

“The process of working on the constitution will take a lot of time,” he said, adding that the three main political parties in Zimbabwe might even decide to let a full five years run its course before the next elections.

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