Plans To Scrap Passport Requirement For Zimbabweans Entering Botswana On Course
Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has floated a plan that could see citizens of Zimbabwe and Botswana using national identity cards (IDs) to enter either country’s jurisdiction, instead of relying on passports. This groundbreaking move would serve to strengthen the already robust ties between the two nations, with Masisi reportedly set to pitch the idea to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa when they meet in the coming months.
At the Boteti West constituency celebrations, where Masisi was in attendance, he announced that he would be discussing the use of IDs for border crossing between the two countries during his meeting with President Mnangagwa. This news was reported by The Parrot newspaper, which has been closely following the story.
Zimlive reports that the Botswana leader, a former army general, has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Namibian President Hage Geingob to allow citizens of both countries to use IDs to cross borders. Masisi has expressed his intention to roll out similar bilateral initiatives with other neighbouring countries that share borders with Botswana.
Zimbabweans typically migrate to Botswana in search of employment opportunities, while some visit the country for shopping. On the other hand, Batswana citizens usually cross into Zimbabwe to pursue higher education or as religious tourists. The two countries have a shared history, culture, and familial ties that predate their diplomatic relations, which were established in 1983.
The potential implementation of this new system would not only simplify cross-border travel for citizens of both countries, but it would also help to further strengthen the already deep-rooted ties between Zimbabwe and Botswana. The idea has been met with excitement and anticipation from both sides, as they look forward to a future of closer collaboration and mutual prosperity.