Zambia: RB, Zuma confer

PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma had a lengthy meeting on Tuesday in South Africa, Foreign Affairs Minister, Kabinga Pande has said.

Mr Pande said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that Mr Banda and Mr Zuma met at the Presidential Guest House. President Banda also underwent a preliminary check-up with doctors.

Mr Pande said South Africas International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Zambias High Commissioner to that country, Leslie Mbula attended the meeting.

The two presidents discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest, including matters affecting the region.

I wish to inform the nation that His Excellency Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda arrived at Lanseria Airport at 13:30 hours on Tuesday August 4 2009.

He was received on arrival by the Director of Southern Africa in the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Xiliso Makaya and other South African government officials after which he was driven to Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria, he said.

Mr Pande said contrary to the report in one of the Zambian daily newspapers, Mr Banda was warmly received in that country.

The president was well received and provided with both transport and accommodation by the South African government contrary to reports in The Post of today (yesterday) August 5 2009 which claimed that President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa was not aware of President Bandas visit, he said.

Chief Government spokesman, Ronnie Shikapwasha said the story carried in The Post was fabricated and aimed at misleading members of the public.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha said President Banda held a meeting with Mr Zuma on Tuesday evening.

The story by The Post was totally fabricated and misleading. The story was aimed at embarrassing the president. There is no way the president can leave the country to go to another country without any appointment, he said in an interview. Lt-Gen Shikapwasha said he would release details of the meeting in due course.

Times of Zambia

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