25 October 2018

Zimbabwe: Zim, Zambia Must Upgrade Ties - ED

Photo: Joseph Nyadzayo/Presidential Photgrapher
President Emmerson Mnangagwa being welcomed by his Zambian counterpart President Edgar Chagwa Lungu at State House in Lusaka, Zambia, on October 23, 2018.

Tendai Mugabe recently in LUSAKA, Zambia

President Mnangagwa yesterday reaffirmed Zimbabwe's commitment to cooperate with Zambia and implement joint projects beneficial to the people of the two countries.

The two countries share the same vision of transforming their economies into an upper middle-income status by 2030.

Addressing people at the main reception to mark Zambia's 54th independence anniversary at State House in Lusaka where he was the guest of honour, President Mnangagwa equated the two countries to Siamese twins who share a lot in common.

He said the opportunity offered by the Joint Permanent Commission between the two countries created room for scaling up of trade and cultural relations.

"Let me reaffirm Zimbabwe's commitment to cooperating with Zambia at regional, continental and global levels for the benefit of our people," said President Mnangagwa.

"Through the establishment of the Zambia-Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission, let us scale up our trade, scientific and cultural cooperation. Equally important is the need to deepen the people-to-people exchanges, as these are a catalyst for stronger relations between our countries.

To attain the desired middle-income status and fully industrialise and modernise our countries, it is imperative that we develop reliable, adequate and appropriate energy, transport and ICT infrastructure. We shall, to this end, be implementing joint projects in hydro power generation, road and rail rehabilitation and constriction, among others.

"To improve connectivity and enhance regional and continental integration, our two land-linked countries must modernise One-Stop-Border-Post at Chirundu as well as the Victoria Falls port of entry in keeping with the traffic and trade flow.

"As sister countries, we can achieve much more when we work together. I challenge both the public and private sectors of our two countries to partner the ongoing initiatives by our two Governments.

"Zimbabwe is open for business. I invite Zambian business persons at every level, to come and partner their Zimbabwean counterparts."

President Mnangagwa said the invitation extended to him by the Zambian government was evidence of the long fraternal relations between the two countries.

He said it was important to build on the flourishing relations to develop economies of the two countries.

"Zimbabwe and Zambia's strong relations pre-date colonialism. The trials and tribulations of our shared history could not break the bonds that were built and cemented over centuries of shared culture, beliefs and aspirations.

"The attainment of Zambia's independence at the break-up of the Central African Federation 54 years ago on October 24, 1964, marked the turning point in the struggle for freedom and independence in the region.

"As liberation movements, we will forever be grateful for the numerous sacrifices made by the people of Zambia towards our independence.

"What is admirable, is that throughout the period, the people of Zambia remained steadfast in the face of immense pressure, military and economic sabotage from the racist governments in Rhodesia and South Africa.

"As we carry the vision and hope towards a shared future of unity, development and prosperity, I urge present and future generations to draw inspiration from the love, brotherhood and Pan African spirit of yesteryear to develop and improve the quality of life of our people throughout the continent."

In his congratulatory message to the people of Zambia, President Mnangagwa said: "I bring glad tidings, heart congratulations and best wishes from the people of Zimbabwe to you and the people of Zambia on this momentous and jubilant occasion.

"Let me express my profound gratitude for the warm reception and generous hospitality that me and my delegation have experienced since our arrival, which is indeed in keeping with the long held view that Zambia and Zimbabwe are Siamese twins with the Zambezi giving life blood to both."

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