Southern Africa: Khama Confident That Nyusi Can Rise to Challenges

The President of Botswana, Ian Khama, on Wednesday expressed confidence in the capacity of his Mozambican counterpart, Filipe Nyusi, to overcome the challenges the country currently faces, including the restoration of effective peace.

Speaking alongside Nyusi, shortly after his arrival at the airport in the western city of Tete, Khama said Mozambique and Botswana are facing common challenges, such as the rising prices of imported goods, and the severe drought in much of southern Africa.

“I believe that the wise leadership of President Nyusi will overcome all of these challenges”, declared Khama to applause from the crowd that had gathered at the airport.

He recalled that the last time he had been in Tete was in the 1990s, as a senior officer in the Botswana army. Botswana was one of the countries which provided troops for the United Nations mission in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) during the implementation of the 1992 peace agreement between the government and the apartheid backed Renamo rebels.

He said that, when he left Mozambique at the end of the ONUMOZ mission, the country had been at peace. “I hope the same thing happens this time”, he added.

Nyusi told the crowd that Khama had come to Tete “because Mozambique is not just Maputo. So President Khama is here to greet us and to visit HCB (Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa), which sends electricity to his country and to other countries in the region”.

Botswana currently buys 80 megawatts of power from HCB. Increasing this would be difficult, since the Cahora Bassa dam and power station are now at the limit of their generating capacity. The other main clients for HCB power are the South African electricity company, Eskom, and Mozambique’s own power company, EDM, while a small amount is also sold to Zimbabwe.

Nyusi will now part company with Khama, since he has his own programme in Tete – a working visit to the districts of Marara, Magoe, Zumbo and Chifunde, and to Tete city.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique.