By Staff Reporter
BOTSWANA President Mokgweetsi Masisi is flirting with a proposal to allow nationals of the two countries to use national identity cards (IDs) to enter either jurisdiction.
Currently, citizens from both countries require valid passports for cross-border travel.
According to media reports emerging from Botswana at the weekend, Masisi told democrats attending the Boteti West constituency celebrations that he was expecting to pitch the idea to President Emmerson Mnangagwa when they meet soon.
“President Mokgweetsi Masisi has just revealed that in a few months’ time, he will be meeting his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa on a visit where he will make sure they discuss the use of identity cards for border crossing among the two countries,” wrote The Parrot newspaper.
Last month, Masisi and Namibian President, Hage Geingob signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to permit citizens of the two republics to use IDs to cross borders.
According to the Botswana leader, a former army general, the same bilateral initiatives will be rolled out with other neighbouring countries that share borders with his country.
Most Zimbabweans migrate to Botswana as economic refugees seeking employment while others visit specifically for shopping.
On the other hand, Batswana citizens mostly cross into Zimbabwe to seek tertiary education, or as religious tourists.
Botswana and Zimbabwe have a shared history, culture, and family ties that predated the two countries’ diplomatic relations, which were established in 1983.