Botswana President Ian Khama says he has no intention to amend his country’s Constitution in order to keep himself in power.
President Khama, who is in Zambia at the invitation of President Edgar Lungu to grace this country’s 53rd independence day celebration, said in his speech at State House today that he will not temper with the Constitution to prolong his stay in office when his term expires in five months time.
“I would like start right from the outset your Excellency [President Lungu] 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 said.
And President Khama said Zambia and Botswana were living proof of peaceful nations to the rest of the African Continent.
“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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, President Edgar Lungu 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.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank you your Excellency personally on behalf of the people of Zambia for the unwavering support to Zambia during our current tenure as Chair for the United Nations group of landlocked developing countries. For a long time Botswana has been home for many Zambian teachers, Doctors and architects among others. We thank you for hosting our people. Zambia too has been receiving a lot of people in our Universities some pursuing medicine and other disciplines. We assure you that these Tswana nationals are very welcome in Zambia,” said President Lungu.
“Your excellency it is worthy noting that the friendship between our two nations will further be strengthened by the completion of the ultra-modern Kazungula bridge which you and myself have committed ourselves to see to 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.”