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Botswana leader's visit revives hopes of bus service.

Botswana President Erick Mokgweetsi Masisi's planned state visit to Kenya next week has revived hopes of conclusion of talks on starting a bus company plying Nairobi-Gaborone.

State House spokesperson Kanze Dena on Tuesday said Masisi will be in Kenya for a three-day state visit. The two countries will sign a number of agreements.

'During the visit, a number of agreements are expected to be signed and several matters of mutual benefit to the people of Kenya and the people of Botswana are expected to be discussed,' she said during a press conference at State House.

Last year in August, on the sidelines of the 49 Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference region, Kenyans in Botswana appealed for speedy conclusion of the negotiations between National Transport and Safety Authority and the Botswana's authorities.

Charg`e d'affaiers at the Kenya High Commission Anastacia Nirema told the Kenyan delegation of MPs led by Speaker Justin Muturi that if the negations will be successful, it would improve not only trade but the movement between offer a shot in the arm to the improvement of trade but also ease movement between the two countries.

'Kenyans will have an opportunity to transport their goods directly to available markets in Botswana and therefore there is need to hasten the negotiations,' she said.

Nirema called on the respective ministries of transport to facilitate the necessary approvals for the bus route to be operational.

If approved, the route will start from Nairobi, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambabwe then finally Gaborone. Drivers approximate it would take a maximum of three days to get to either of the destinations.

Yesterday NTSA director general Francis Meja told the Star that if and when the proposal lands on his table, he will be willing to start the negations.

'We will be able to sit down with the our friends and go through the proposal. Indeed it will open the region and help the tourism sector,' he told the Star on the phone.

In 2016, Kenya Airways stopped flying to Gaborone. Kenyans in Botswana through their chairman Tom Ochieng Atonga called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene.

Atonga said the renewal of work permits had become a nightmare for the majority of Kenyans who have established businesses in Botswana.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:6TANZ
Date:Jul 18, 2019
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