Botswana salutes Zambia anti-graft warBy MTOKOZISI DUBE in Gaborone | Tuesday, March 20 2012 at 14:44
Botswana’s President Ian Khama has praised his visiting Zambian counterpart Michael Sata for his commitment to fighting corruption and upholding good governance.
President Sata, who also said that he admired Botswana’s strong anti-corruption stance, is on his first state visit to Gaborone since assuming office last year.
The Zambian leader launched a forceful campaign after assuming office, immediately replacing the head of the country’s anti-corruption agency.
And President Khama believes the stance he took was a show of determination to improve the living standards of the Zambian people.
“This goes to show your determination to improve the living standards of the Zambian people,” President Khama said during a luncheon at Gaborone’s Grand Palm.
President Khama added that it was only through commitment to good governance and zero tolerance towards corruption that sustainable development could be attained.
“It is not an exaggeration that it is only through commitment to good governance and zero tolerance for corruption and mismanagement that we can attain sustainable development.”
President Sata said his government had taken the necessary measures to curb corruption and pledged his commitment to finding lasting solutions to other problems like food security and HIV/Aids.
The two leaders acknowledged they shared much more than just a border as they enjoyed a special relationship that dates back to the pre-colonial era.
President Khama said this had laid a strong foundation for deepening and strengthening cooperation between the two countries.
He attributed the challenges that the two countries had experienced in the recent past to the global economic downturn.
The Botswana leader said he was delighted that Zambia and Botswana had embarked on the construction of the Kazungula Bridge, which would facilitate increased trade and investments between the two countries.
Botswana recently committed $27,544,780 (P200 million) to the long awaited project. The amount was the first tranche of a total $171,437,698 (P1.245 billion) that was the share cost of the Botswana Government in the 50/50 joint venture with Zambia.
President Sata also paid a visit to the House of Assembly on Monday before meeting opposition leader Botsalo Ntuane.
He was expected to meet Zambians living in Botswana before he returns to Lusaka Wednesday.
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