Botswana’s President to ‘discuss Zimbabwe’ with Barack Obama


Harare(ZimEye)Botswana’s president, Ian Khama is scheduled to meet US president, Barak Obama Thursday in what many analysts say that he will also discuss the thorny issue of Zimbabwe’s fragile government between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and long time ruler, Robert Mugabe.

The Mmegi of Gaborone reported Wednesday that Khama will meet Obama on Thursday on his trip to Washington. While a number of online publications Wednesday reported that Zimbabwe is one of the main issues Botswana’s leader will discuss with Obama, Botswana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Phandu Skelemani, on Wednesday could not disclose what is on the agenda for the meeting of the two leaders.

“The meeting has no agenda as such. The two presidents will meet and we will put forward the challenges facing our country that we think Americans could help us address,” Skelemani said.

The government of Botswana issued a statement last week condemning what is happening in Zimbabwe’s unity government. Mugabe and Tsvangirai have disagreed on the allocation of positions in government. This has led to Tsvangirai pulling out MDC from the unity government, further dampening hopes that the country will be back on its feet in the near future.

Meanwhile, Khama will miss a SADC meeting to discuss Zimbabwe for the second year running. At almost the same time last year, did not attend an extraordinary SADC Summit on Zimbabwe held in South Africa.

The Botswana leader, although being a positive supporter of Zimbabwe’s opposition party, has yet been criticised by many in Botswana on the controversial manner in which he has in the past 12 months arbitrarily deported three people, two Zimbabweans and an Indian, one of them who was a Zimbabwean church pastor, deported allegedly for accommodating Botswana opposition members in his church. (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)

  • Mandhla Zodwa

    I also still DO NOT UNDERSTAND why this advocate of democracy had to deport an innocent church pastor just ‘because he accomodated opposition members in his church.’

    Will Tsvangirai not eventually turn out to be like Khama, i mean to be ‘stupid’?

    Are these the sort of people Morgan is running after? MT had better look or better friends

  • Bruce Derere

    Nothing wrong with Morgan’s relationship with Khama. Does not Mugabe also have friends in evil places? The trend follows that when you are in a ba corner with noone to turn to, your trues riends are those who come out even when you are least noticeable

    What’s your problem you Zodwa?

  • Beast

    How do you go from the foreign minister’s statement that “there is no agenda as such” to “Botswana’s President to ‘discuss Zimbabwe’”??

  • Beast

    ..And if only the likes of Zodwa could show some respect to Botswana leaders for taking an principled stance while others are burying their heads in the sand. This is the sort of thing that is making Africans a laughing stock of the whole world. Khama is an advocate of democracy because he practises it, he has just won a landslide and has a mandate, you can’t ask more of him, and after 44 years Batawana know a thing or two about elections.
    Botswana has in its bosom countless law abiding Zimbabwean brothers and sisters, and does away with con artists, bogus pastors and unscrupulous and unsavoury characters who want to exploit our hospitality and insult Batswana while at it. There are limits to everything Zodwa.

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  • Proud Zimbabwean

    I have a problem with what i read here. Khama controversial in what way by being anti Mugabe? Why does the writer think he will talk about Zimbabwe with Obama? Even if they talk about it what will change. Mugabe just needs to be shot dead by Zimbabweans that is the only thing that can solve Zimbabwe’s problems.



  • Mutandaura

    I think the writer says Khama is controversial in that he has a lot of speculative controversy surrounding himself in Botswana. He seems not happy on the way he indiscrimately deported that Zimbabwean church man. Khama like other good people seems to have a bad side of his own

  • Bruce Derere

    SANDI you have a very cheap mentality, nothing more. When Mugabe kills people you rejoice an praise him. Shame on you!

  • Proud Zimbabwean

    Sandi for your own information Mugabe is not my president. He lost the elections this year and refused to vacate the seat.Why did he take the whole month to announce the result. Even a small boy with no education can see that he cheated. Shame on you and your President Mugabe.

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  • Makwaz

    Khama at least has the courage to speak as he sees fit unlike the other colourless regional leaders. We should learn to take criticism and learn from it, rather than this foolish syndrome of branding all critics sell outs. An inability to objectively evaluate the evidence on the issues is surely a lack of rationality. The break through in Africa will come when more of us use common sense and hold firmly to the truth. Living a lie and suppoerting fantasies is a fools paradise. In the case of Khama and Obama the great thing that they have in common is the ability to know the difference between national interest and personal interest. Both have shown by their conduct and speech to be commited to their countries and to human values. Let us keep in mind that in this context Zimbabwe will be a side isse of the because both these guys are measured by the state of their economies and the welfare of their citizens other countries will naturally be secondary.

  • Thabani Mukombe

    I find Khama a dubious character. Speaking about Zimbabwe to Obama he will. This is the other thing which makes him relevant. The international world recognizes him because of his anti Mugabe speeches. He doesn’t want democracy in Botswana but he wants democracy in Zimbabwe. I dont even think he believes in whatever speech he makes. He takes advantage of Tsvangirayi’s popularity and he capitalizes on it.