Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Zambian President to meet Leader of Opposition

President Ian Khama’s administration seems to be having a change of heart towards Leader of Opposition Botsalo Ntuane.

Zambian President Michael Sata will pay a courtesy call on the leader of opposition tomorrow (Monday) as part of his three-day state visit to Botswana the first since he was elected President last year.

The hostile relationship that existed between Khama and Ntuane until recently seems to be headed for a harmonius one ever since the President had, for the first time, talks with the Leader of Opposition. Ntuane was denied the the opportunity to have an informal meeting with the US first lady Michelle Obama during her visit to the country last year.

“I received an invitation from Foreign Affairs to host President Sata in a courtesy call which was conveyed to me through the Speaker of Parliament Margaret Nasha. Subsequently I consulted the Parliamentary Opposition of BCP, BMD and BNF and they all gave the thumps up on the basis that it is what we have been advocating for,” Ntuane said Friday.

The MP further said he does not know what caused the change of heart from government’s previous stance.

“It could be that Mr. Sata himself proposed his interaction to our government. Or it could be that government has realised it adds value to Botswana’s reputation as a proper democracy to facilitate such interactions. Whatever the case, as the opposition we are honoured and are looking forward to the courtesy call,” said Ntuane.

The Botswana National Front (BNF) leader in Parliament Isaac Mabiletsa said Ntuane told them that he had received the letter from Foreign Affairs on Friday to that effect and they had no problem. His counterpart at the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Dumelang Saleshando said he would not make an informed response as he was away in South Africa on Friday.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.