Thabane, who is in the country to officially open this year’s Agricultural show, was met by Mugabe and his senior Zanu (PF) officials at the airport in the capital Harare, where he was given a 21 gun salute by the elite presidential guard.
When South African President Jacob Zuma visited Zimbabwe on official state visit in 2009 MDC officials were present at the airport.
Senior Zanu (PF) supporters who were present at the airport include party chairperson, Simon Khaya Moyo, Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, and Sydney Sekeramayi who is the Security minister. Army chiefs were also at the airport.
Thabane appear to have ruffled MDC feathers at the just ended SADC summit in Maputo when he called for the West to remove sanctions on Mugabe.
He said:” Despite limited relaxation of sanctions by countries of the European Union on Zimbabwe, we must continue to call for the lifting of all sanctions against Zimbabwe. Our region has consistently stood together to reject external solutions that seek to undermine the hard-earned political and economic independence of Zimbabwe.”
Zanu (PF) supporters, clad in party T-shirts showing Mugabe’s portrait, sang and waved Zimbabwean and Lesotho flags as Mugabe and Thabane left for the State House.
The Agricultural show which has already begun will be officially opened on Friday.