14 February 2018

Zimbabwe: President Back From Successful Botswana Trip

President Mnangagwa yesterday returned home from a two-day official visit to Botswana with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Lieutenant-General Sibusisio Moyo (Retired) describing the mission as highly successful after the two countries agreed to upgrade their cooperation to a Bi-National Commission.

On arrival at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday, President Mnangagwa was welcomed by Vice Presidents General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired) and Kembo Mohadi, service chiefs and senior Government officials.

During the visit, President Mnangagwa had a hectic schedule in which he held bi-lateral talks with his host, Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

He also addressed Botswana's National Assembly, held an interactive session with Zimbabwean professions living in Botswana, attended the Botswana-Zimbabwe Business seminar and toured the Diamond Trading Centre in Gaborone.

In an interview soon after arriving at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Minister Moyo said: "This visit was a dual visit which coincided with a Joint Commission between Botswana and Zimbabwe. This Joint Commission was significant because it resuscitated the relationships that had remained in a comatose for many years, seven years, because of various other issues.

"So we managed to rescue it out of where it was and there is oomph and drive from both sides to ensure that the original objectives from the original Joint Commission are achieved."

"The JPC also made a recommendation that the quality of relations between the countries be upgraded to a level of the Heads of States and that's why the two Heads of States agreed that it should be a Bi-National Commission which should get all the Ministers and under the direct supervision of the Heads of States whenever these sessions take place."

Minister Moyo said the visit also resulted in several breakthrough agreements that will be followed up by the 11 Cabinet Ministers who were part of the delegation.

"That is why we had a huge Cabinet attendance. The State visit itself, this was a marvel. It was so successful that a lot of breakthroughs have actually occurred. As a person that does not want normally to say processes so much instead of the results, I can say a lot of processes have been ignited. There are under consideration with specific timelines which have been agreed by the Ministers who have been paired against each other."

According to Minister Moyo, there was a lot of enthusiasm from Botswana about the new political dispensation that makes Zimbabwe a ripe partner for cooperation.

"There is a lot in common between our two nations.

"We are very cordial, we share culture, history and so many other issues and therefore there was a lot of enthusiasm from the Botswana side that Zimbabwe is back on board and that Zimbabwe is a nation that can be cooperated with in all sectors of the economy, therefore the State visit itself was a success. It entered into different areas of economic cooperation."

Minister Moyo said the visit would also allow for those that are interested in investing in country to do so from an informed point of view after President Mnangagwa emphasised his theme that Zimbabwe is Open for Business.

"It is important that we as politicians discuss policies, parameters, it is important as a thrust of this Government that the businesspeople must always accompany and do the business and the transactions that take place while the main infrastructure that facilitates business is handed the responsibility of Government."

During his dialogue with Zimbabweans living in Botswana, President Mnangagwa impressed many who expressed their intentions to invest in the country while others voiced their concern on issues they want to be addressed.

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