I started to write this blog when we were leaving the border of Botswana and driving down to Gaberone. But as fate would have it, my computer blacked out because it needed to be powered.
So here l am about 5am the very next morning writing as we drive along some very clean and organized Botswana streets. I almost didn’t want to do this entry. The caravanites were and are not a happy people. A group of the caravanites, specifically Burundians and Rwandese were turned back and asked to go to the high commissioner to get visas for entry. Believe it we were so angry.
These two countries have been getting their visas processed at the border because they don’t have a lot of these missions resident in their countries. Having witnessed them going through very tough border checks we wondered what had really happened. Once those 4 hour talks failed, the Zimbabweans who had been waiting to make sure we got through alright, sent in a diplomatic contact who got our people out and into Zimbabwe. And the Zimbabwean hospitality followed us right into a not so friendly Botswana border. What a culture shock?!
The further we drove away from the border our thoughts were with those caravanites who we will meet in Pretoria as they will not come through Botswana. I remember as l got into the bus l told one Botswana official, ‘You have actually cut one of our limbs.’ To which he had a buffled look. I repeated it and he just stared. I think he didn’t get it that these caravanites have gelled and that if anything happens to any part of the team, it affects all of us. This team right here represents African solidarity.
By Maria Wanza