Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Matabeleland South Bureau Chief
BOTSWANA Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Sarah Sethabile Molosiwa has urged citizens from the two countries to work with authorities to fight cross border crimes.
Ambassador Molosiwa said cross border crimes such as smuggling, border jumping, human trafficking and cattle rustling have a negative impact on the socio-economic development of the two countries.
Speaking recently while addressing Ngoma villagers in Gwanda, Ambassador Molosiwa said President Mnangagwa and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi have done a lot to develop the two countries through initiatives such as the establishment of the Bi-National Commission (BNC). She said this strategic cooperation has ushered in a lot of development in both countries.
Ambassador Molosiwa said citizens of the two countries have to support their leaders.
Botswana and Zimbabwe signed an agreement in 2018 to establish the Bi-National Commission (BNC) to promote and explore cooperation in various areas, including education, agriculture, defense and security, energy, the environment and health.
The two countries held the third session of the BNC in February last year in Victoria Falls where five were signed as part of efforts to cement fraternal relations on a wide-range of socio-economic issues.
President Mnangagwa and President Masisi witnessed the signing of agreements on Child Protection, Co-operation in the field of tourism, Co-operation in the field of Agriculture and Food Security, Water Co-operation and Co-operation on Youth Development.
Ambassador Molosiwa said Zimbabwe and Botswana have done a lot since the establishment of the Bi-National Commission, for example Zimbabweans working in Botswana without proper documentation are being assisted to get registered by the Zimbabwean Embassy in Botswana.
She said the two countries must continue to meet and discuss problems that are affecting them. She said the BNC has made it possible for citizens to make contributions on various development issues which will be taken further to principals and help to strengthen policies of diplomatic interaction between Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Ambassador Molosiwa urged citizens to safeguard the good relations which have been built between the two countries.
“Our Presidents address one another as brothers and that makes us brothers and sisters as citizens from the two countries. Zimbabwe and Botswana have long term economic, cultural, historical ties and this relationship started long back when we were still British colonies. Even after Independence the relationship between Botswana and Zimbabwe has grown strong,” she said.
“As we speak our Presidents are working day and night to strengthen the relationship between Botswana and Zimbabwe. This is because the challenges, problems and celebrations of Zimbabwe affect Botswana. We are bound as people of the two countries to always be working together and interacting. Let’s safeguard and not jeopardise this relationship.”
Officiating during the third session of the BNC last year, President Mnangagwa said the finalisation of these instruments was by no means an end in itself but must mark the beginning of concrete programmes by the two nations.
“We should work together and share ideas on how to curb illegal activities such as cattle rustling and other cross border crimes. I would like to urge you as communities which are along the border line to work with Government departments and other authorities in fighting crime. Also form committees which will operate as whistle blowers. Instead of being accomplices in these crimes and mere by-standers you have to be a whistleblower,” he said.
“These crimes affect the economy of the two countries as well as socio- political relations. Our leaders want to see these problems resolved amicably. Our Presidents have made it possible to share input and concerns in every sector through creation of the Bi-National Commission.” – @DubeMatutu