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PRESIDENT Lungu (left) being escorted by Botswana’s Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Thapelo Olopeng (second from left) inspects the guard of honour on arrival at Sir Seretse Khama Airport in Gaborone, Botswana yesterday. PICTURE:SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE

Lungu arrives in Gaborone for SADC summit

PRESIDENT Lungu yesterday arrived here to attend the two-day 35th Southern African Development Community (SADC) heads of state and government summit, which opens today.
The President landed at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport at 15:50 hours on board the presidential jet.
Mr Lungu is accompanied by Minister of Defence Richwell Siamunene and his special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda.
The President was accorded a guard of honour by the Botswana Defence Forces and briefly watched performances by a traditional dance troupe called Shoshoruka from Ikoga in north-west Botswana.
President Lungu was received by Botswana’s Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Thapelo Alopeng and Zambia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba.
A tight schedule awaits President Lungu at the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC), the venue of the summit themed: “Accelerating industrialisation of SADC economies through transformation of natural endowment and improved human capital.”
President Lungu is expected to deliver his maiden speech today at the summit, which is being attended by several heads of state.
Other leaders expected to give their maiden speeches are Hage Geingob of Namibia, Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and Mozambican President Filepe Jacinto Nyusi
Outgoing SADC chairperson Robert Mugabe arrived at GICC on Saturday evening amid pomp and tight security.
Mr Mugabe is expected to hand over the one-year rotational chairmanship of the 15-member bloc to host Ian Khama.
The Zimbabwean leader is also expected to deliver a keynote address today and ceremonially hand over the SADC chairmanship to the Botswana President.