Botswana has explained that the snub on Malawi President Joyce Banda’s request to get a ride in the presidential jet later this month is because President Ian Khama will not travel to the US.
The two leaders received invites to attend a summit for Africa leaders in the US and indications are that the Malawi Government sent an official request asking their Botswana counterparts to allow Mrs Banda to get a lift to the summit.
President Banda is scheduled to visit Botswana on Monday next week. She leaves for US to attend the meeting hosted by President Barack Obama after her Gaborone visit.
However, Botswana’s response was that it would be impossible since Mr Khama will not be traveling since he has more pressing issues to attend to locally.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Phandu Skelemani confirmed over the weekend that Mrs Banda would not get a ride.
“It is true she requested to fly with us but we declined because the President will not be going to America,” Mr Skelemani said.
The summit is expected to address, among others, developmental concerns, democracy and the rule of law.
Malawi has a state of the art presidential jet that President Banda has put up for sale in line with her government’s austerity measures.