Emboldening Paul Kagame - rolling the red carpet and giving a dictator the green light

Today marks the end of a controversial two-day State visit by Rwandan dictator, Paul Kagame. A State visit is the ultimate weapon of diplomacy.

State visits are not merely ceremonial, but are politically inspired and purposeful to increasing Botswana’s diplomatic influence, business links and furthering national interests. But this visit is bound to have an opposite effect, backfire and cause lasting damage to Gaborone’s democratic credentials.

State media reported that, ‘Kagame’s visit marked a pinnacle moment in the relations between Botswana and Rwanda’ and ‘will afford the two leaders an invaluable opportunity to exchange views on bilateral; regional and international issues of mutual interest’. A sentence that reads, ‘the visit will therefore serve to enhance and broaden the scope of bilateral cooperation between Botswana and Rwanda is various sectors of human development’ shows just how out of touch the state media is with international opinion.

Editor's Comment
Botswana deserves ideal political leaders

This remains to be seen, particularly as opposite unity has been seeing its ups and downs. In 2012, three opposition parties namely the Botswana National Front (BNF), the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), and the Botswana National Front (BNF) formed a political alliance under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) would, after rebuffs, join the coalition in 2017.The promise made by the coalition to its...

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