Agence France-Presse

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly set to “fix strained relations” with the Botswana government as he visits his counterpart Ian Khama next week.

According to reports, the two countries had had sour relations for years, with president Khama said to have been one of the loud critics of former president Robert Mugabe.

Khama made headlines in 2016 after he called ageing Mugabe, who was still in power then, to step down.

But, following Mugabe’s resignation, Botswana’s foreign affairs minister Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said the two sister countries would “fix their strained relations”.

The state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Friday that Mnangagwa would visit Botswana on Monday and Tuesday on a courtesy call made by Khama.

The two were expected to “discuss matters of mutual interests”.

“The government of the republic of Botswana wishes to inform that His Excellence Mr Emmerson D Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe will undertake a two day visit to the Republic of Botswana from February 12 – 13, 2018, at the invitation of his counterpart, His Excellence Lieutenant–General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana. The visit will accord the two leaders an opportunity to deliberate on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern,” a statement from the government of Botswana said.

Mnangagwa was expected to be accompanied by cabinet ministers and business people.

Mnangagwa has in the past months visited a few other southern African countries that include Angola, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia after taking over from Mugabe in November.

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