Mugabe to attend Lesotho's independence celebrations, after 'snubbing' Khama
03 October 2016, 20:58
Harare – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is set to attend Lesotho's 50th independence anniversary later this week, after he recently "turned down" a similar invite from Botswana, a report said on Monday.
According to NewsDay, Information minister Christopher Mushowe confirmed that Mugabe would be travelling to Lesotho for the celebrations.
Mushowe, however, played down an alleged fallout between between Zimbabwe and Botswana, saying that Mugabe could not attend Botswana's celebration due to a "busy schedule".
He said that Botswana's independence anniversary celebrations coincided with a Zanu-PF event that the veteran leader could not afford to miss.
"The Botswana event coincided with the Zanu-PF women's league meeting that was so important the president had to be there. Botswana and Zimbabwe are friends and have been since the struggle because our people sought refuge in that country," Mushowe was quoted as saying.
Khama recently made headlines after he called on Mugabe, 92, to step down, saying that the nonagenarian was becoming a liability throughout the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Khama said that the long-time ruler would not be able to solve the southern African country's woes because of "old age".
"It is obvious that at his [Mugabe's] age and the state Zimbabwe is in, he's not really able to provide the leadership that could get it out of its predicament.
"They have got plenty of people there who have got good leadership qualities who could take over," Khama was quoted as saying at the time.
In an opinion piece, state-owned Herald newspaper columnists, Nathaniel Manheru, who is believed to be Mugabe's spokesperson, George Charanba, said the veteran politician "will not pick a fight with a fellow African leader, however, wayward and stilted that leader's thinking may be".
Manheru went on to say that there was a lot that was "wayward and senseless in what Khama is alleged to have told Reuters, a few days ahead of his country's national day".
He said that Khama did not have to invite the Zimbabwean president "all the more so given his weird views on Mugabe's tenure".