Mokgweetsi Masisi

RUSTENBURG – Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who visited Zimbabwe on Tuesday for a  Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting, will go into his third quarantine upon returning home.

Masisi’s spokesperson Batlhalefi Leagang said the president was attending an extraordinary summit of heads of state and government of the SADC organ on politics, defence, and security cooperation in his capacity as the incoming chairman.

The organ is responsible for providing policy direction and decision making on regional political, defence, and security issues.

Leagang said circumstances had forced the meeting to be held face to face despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has spurred virtual meetings worldwide.

“IT, security and defence experts have advised the president that (the) meeting should be face to face in light of (the) sensitivity of the issues discussed,” he said in a statement.

Masisi was expected back in Botswana’s capital Gaborone later on Tuesday.

He will then undergo his third quarantine since Botswana declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus.

Masisi was quarantined on March 21 after he attended the inauguration of Namibian president Hage Geingob.

He went through the measure again on April 9 after it was discovered that a nurse who screened members of parliament at a special sitting to debate the state of emergency — which was imposed for six months — had tested positive for Covid-19. In both instances his test results were negative for the virus.

Masisi was accompanied to Zimbabwe by the minister for presidential affairs, governance and public administration Kabo Morwaeng and senior government officials.

Botswana has registered 25 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with one person dying and 17 recovering. Zimbabwe has reported 46 cases, four deaths and 18 recoveries.

African News Agency