Botswana President Ian Khama says he has no intention of amending his country’s Constitution so that he can prolong his stay in power.
President Khama, President Khama, who was guest of honour during Zambia’s 53rd independence celebrations at the invitation of President Edgar Lungu, said in his speech at State House today that this was probably the last official moment he was sharing with President Lungu and Zambians as his term in office was expiring in five months’ time.
“I would like start right from the outset your Excellency to congratulate you and the people of Zambia on celebrating your 53rd anniversary of independence and I would like to give a very special welcome of thanks to you for having invited to come and be your guest of honour at this occasion. As most of you are aware, this is going to be possibly the last opportunity for me to be able to share a moment like this with you because my own term will be concluding in about five months’ time and I have no intention of amending my country’s Constitution so that I can prolong my term in office,” President Khama stated.
The Botswana leader also said he was honoured to be in the presence of Zambia’s first president Dr Kenneth Kaunda, whom he said was a close friend of his father’s – Botswana’s first president Sir Seretse Khama.
“Let me say your excellency as you have rightly put it, Botswana and Zambia have come a very long way and I am delighted to be here and very honoured to be in the presence of the First President His Excellency Dr Kenneth Kaunda. As you correctly said, he and my father were not only heads of states of neighbouring states but they also became very good friends. I remember they had nick names for each other, President Kaunda referred to my father ‘the primitive man’, I will not reveal what my father may have called President Kaunda, being an elder, I respect him too much to say that but it was a sense of very deep relations which I am so delighted have gone on for so many years and to be standing here as the President of Botswana having been invited by President Edgar Lungu is a demonstration that our relations have stood the test of time,”said President Khama.
He stated that Zambia and Botswana are examples to the rest of the African Continent when it comes to peace.
“I am sure that in the many years to come, Botswana and Zambia will continue to go forward in the interest of peace and unity between our people. Botswana and Zambia have proved to rest of the continent what it means to be peaceful nation. So as I leave, I would like to wish you your Excellency all the best in your term of office. I would like to wish your government and the people of Zambia prosperity in the years to come, long may you live.”
And President Edgar Lungu has expressed confidence that the completion of the ultra-modern Kazungula Bridge would open up transcontinental development corridors for the benefit of SADC and COMESA regions.
“The friendship between our two nations will further be strengthened by the completion of the ultra-modern Kazungula Bridge which you and I have committed ourselves to see to its completion very soon. This bridge will not only trade but will also open an important transcontinental development corridor for the benefit of SADC and COMESA,” said President Lungu.
Earlier, Presidents Lungu and Khama led diplomats and defence and service chiefs in laying wreaths at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka in honour of fallen independence heroes.
The two heads of state arrived at the Freedom Statue at 10:28 hours.
After some hymns and scripture reading, President Khama proceeded to lay a wreath at 10:50 hours and President Lungu followed later.
Defence and service chiefs were next to lay wreaths and several diplomats accredited to Zambia followed suit.
The two Presidents then walked to greet diplomats accredited to Zambia before proceeding to a mounted saluting dais where they stood and watched a march past by defence forces, simultaneously displayed with a fly past by the Zambia Air Force (ZAF). – Zambian Eye
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