Zimbabwe and Botswana have initiated discussions for passport-free travel to facilitate smooth travel and trade between the two countries, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has revealed.
Currently, citizens from both countries require valid passports for cross-border travel.
Mnangagwa was speaking in a Presidential panel discussion at the 5th edition of the Kusi Ideas Festival in Botswana.
Mnangagwa said he had agreed with his counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi to begin the passport scrapping process.
”We have agreed that from now on, we shall instruct our officials that there should be no question of how to enter Zimbabwe or how to enter Botswana, that should be cleared.
”The two of us have agreed realising that we are Africans, we should be able to walk into Botswana, walk into Zambia, walk into Kenya and we have just agreed when we were sitting there that why do we restrict ourselves?
”So why should we continue to respect this? Let us open borders among ourselves and move freely,” Mnangagwa said.
Masisi earlier this year, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Namibian President Hage Geingob to allow citizens of both countries to use their IDs to cross borders.
The same bilateral initiatives may be extended to other neighbouring countries that share borders with Botswana.
Most Zimbabweans migrate to Botswana as economic refugees seeking employment while others visit for trade purposes.
The exact number of Zimbabweans residing unlawfully in Botswana remains uncertain; however, according to a 2022 government report 47,000 Zimbabweans migrated to Botswana in the past decade.
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Publish date : 2023-12-08 05:36:49