The President Cde Robert Mugabe has described the late former president of Botswana Mr Quett Ketumile Masire as a great loss to the people of Botswana, the SADC region and Africa as a whole.

President Mugabe was addressing thousands of mourners in Kanye village south west of Botswana at the funeral ceremony of the late Masire today.

Cde Mugabe said Zimbabwe and other countries in the region felt like members of Dr Masire’s family because he opened his life to them and gave a listening ear to every issue brought before him.

He said the late Dr Masire’s persistence and perseverance in the fight for the  economic emancipation of Botswana helped in laying the foundations of the rapid economic transformation that the country continues to enjoy.

The President also chronicled how he worked closely with Dr Masire in the formation of SADC and continental peacekeeping missions.

Cde Mugabe also described Mr Masire as a close family friend.

The late Botswana president who played a huge role in assisting liberation movements fighting for independence in Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa and others was also described as an asset of the African continent and a dear comrade, brother and friend.

President Mugabe recalled Masire’s contribution in the formation of SADC and his role in peacemaking and mediation in SADC and the African Union.

Other speakers included former South African President Thabo Mbeki who said he is grateful for the assistance he was given to liberate South Africa.

After the speeches it was time for the last good bye s as the casket was taken to the final resting place.

Meanwhile , President Mugabe has since returned home.