Mugabe Appreciates Hospitality

| May 21, 2015

Zimbabwean president, Mr Robert Mugabe, has hailed the hospitality he received from Batswana, saying he came to the country as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson.

Speaking during a media briefing at the end of his two-day visit, President Mugabe said he was not on a state or official visit, but had come to Botswana to check on the progress of the industrialisation policy as adopted by the SADC summit held in Harare.

“We are happy with the progress we have made with the programme of transforming our economies, it is well on course we want to industrialise our socio-economic system we want that to create greater employment and great revenue for us because when goods are sent outside raw they don’t pay as much as when we would have transformed them,” he said.

He said they were also looking into how the private sector and public sector could work together and how state to state partnerships could be enhanced for the benefit of the region.

Meanwhile, Mr Mugabe called on the media to help promote SADC programmes. As the SADC chairperson, he said he was continuing the journey started many years ago by the founders, amongst them Sir Seretse Khama, Mr Agostinho Neto of Angola, Mr Samora Machel of Mozambique and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, all of whom are late.

He said as members of the then Frontline States, they helped to liberate his country and later formed the Southern African Development Community Conference (SADCC) which later transformed to the present SADC as more members joined the organisation.

Talking about the present, President Mugabe said he alone would not do a lot, especially as he has one year tenure, adding however that he would like to see programmes, especially industrialisation being embarked upon. He, however, expressed concern over the slow implementation of SADC protocols aimed at regional integration such as the establishment of a free trade area and the free movement of people and goods.

“These are naturally areas where we are still slow. There are still fears that when this happens most of us would lose business,” he said. The Zimbabwean President said businesses should be free to set up wherever they want. He said there were some elements of protectionism as some countries refused to accept goods from others while they want to export their own.

He said Zimbabwe received South African products, but it was difficult for his country to penetrate into the regional economic power house.

On movement of labour, he said progress has been made as there were Zimbabwean experts working in neighbouring countries and vice versa.

Meanwhile, President Mugabe stated that historical wrongs have to be corrected in South Africa. He said while South Africans blame foreigners for lack of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, it was important to address the economic disparities that had been established by the apartheid regime.

At the same time, he said it was important to promote Africanism, saying no tribe should be confined within the corners of its borders. President Mugabe returned to his home country yesterday.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

Comments are closed.