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New Zim leader picks Botswana for first State Visit

MBONGENI MGUNI
New Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa is due to pay a state visit to Botswana soon, meeting President Ian Khama and other senior officials in his first official trip since taking over from his predecessor, Robert Mugabe last November.

This afternoon, senior private secretary to the President, Brigadier George Tlhalerwa told Mmegi the details of the state visit were being hammered out and the Zimbabwean leader would be arriving soon. 

“There is an impending visit, but the dates are not yet confirmed,” he said.

“It is something we will be working on in the not so distant future, looking at the duration and others.

“Nothing has been concluded yet; in fact the ministries start the working year on Monday.” 

Technically, Mnangagwa’s impending trip will be his first state visit, as his other trip to South Africa last month, was categorised as a 'courtesy call' on President Jacob Zuma. A state visit is the highest and most official

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expression of bilateral relations between countries, involving various ceremonies and protocols. 

The visit continues the cosy relationship between Khama and the new Zimbabwe government, a fact confirmed by the rapturous applause Khama received in late November from the packed stadium that witnessed Mnangagwa’s inauguration. 

Khama was the most vocal African leader railing against the Mugabe regime and calling on the nonagenarian to step down. Khama frequently swam against the tide in bodies such as the African Union and SADC, condemning various acts by the Mugabe regime. 

Prior to Mugabe’s ouster and Mnangagwa’s takeover, Khama fired off a series of tweets again urging the veteran leader to resign for the sake of Zimbabweans and the region.



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