President Mugabe Humiliated By Botswana Gvt

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The dear leader was snubbed by his Botswana counterpart on touchdown in Gaborone yesterday afternoon.

Arriving at Gaborone International Airport, Mugabe was met with scorn as the Botswana government reduced the revered statesman to the status of a visiting junior minister in that country.

It is customary for a visiting Head of State to receive official welcome and courtesy, more so, when that Head of State is both SADC and AU chairperson.

But Botswana did not give either a special security or a high-powered official delegation to welcome him. President Ian Khama was AWOL but it is no secret that there is no love lost between the two leaders. A junior minister in Khama’s cabinet was the only official to quietly stroll and meet the veteran leader who had no choice but to affect a “a brave plastic smile” as described by onlookers.

In an effort to play down the immature diplomatic boob, the Batswana government said Mugabe’s was not on an official government to government visit hence Khama’s absence. They stated this while at the same yet making an official full colour government announcement that : “President Mugabe will, among other things, meet SADC staff, have private lunch at State House and pay a courtesy call on President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama. President Mugabe will address a press conference before going back to Zimbabwe tomorrow afternoon (20/5/15),” the presser said.

The Botswana government attempted another damage control presser with its Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, telling journalists at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, she was “disturbed” by reports that President Mugabe was not accorded an honour befitting a head of state.

She condemned what she termed a deliberate intent by some media houses to create animosity and tensions between Botswana and Zimbabwe.

President Mugabe’s visit, Dr Venson-Moitoi said, was not a state visit, hence no guard of honour at the airport and hoisting of flags on street poles along Gaborone roads. The foreign affairs minister, not President Khama, welcomed President Mugabe at the airport since the latter is on a work related mission not state visit, the government said.

“It is a normal practice throughout the world that as a minister responsible, I protocol his visit and not the president. I also afford him the necessary protocols linked with visits of other heads of state visiting the country on other official capacities,” she said.

Therefore, President Khama’s absence at the airport should not be viewed as lack of respect for Mr Mugabe.