Zimbabwe and Botswana agree to scrap passport requirements


HARARE – In a progressive move towards the free movement of people and goods between the two countries, Zimbabwe and Botswana have agreed to start working on arrangements and modalities to remove passport requirements between the neighbouring countries.

Botswana and Zimbabwe to scrap passport requirements
Image: ZimLive

This was revealed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a presidential panel discussion at the Kusi Ideas Festival currently underway in Botswana.

The festival is being co-hosted by the Nation Media Group of Kenya and the Government of Botswana.

President Mnangagwa indicated that he has agreed with President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana to commence the process in terms of the law.

“We have agreed [with President Masisi] that from now on, we will instruct our officials so that they would be no question of how to enter Zimbabwe; how to enter Botswana. That should be cleared.

“The two of us have agreed because we are African. We should be able to walk into Botswana, walk into Zambia, walk into Kenya. Why should we restrict ourselves?” President Mnangagwa said.

He added that it is now time to move on from colonial borders and boundaries demarcated by colonial powers, and that as Africans there is no more need to continue respecting these boundaries to the detriment of Africans’ interests.

Plans to scrap passport requirements to allow for the easier flow of people and goods between Botswana and Zimbabwe were first mooted in March 2023.

In February 2023, Botswana reached a similar deal with Namibia.

Masisi’s push to engage neighbors on opening up borders is in line with the Africa Union’s Protocol on Free Movement of Persons.

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