Zimbabwe: Magufuli Visit to Consolidate Relations

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Tanzanian counterpart, President John Magufuli, share a lighter moment before entering into a closed-door meeting at State House in Harare.

The two-day State visit by President John Magufuli should help consolidate the existing relations between the countries and also help uplift the lives of citizens.

This was said by Tanzania's Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister Professor Palamagamba Kabudi when he met his counterpart Dr Sibusiso Moyo yesterday to thrash out cooperation agreements.

Prof Kabudi said the two countries, which share a very rich history that dates back to the days of the liberation struggle, should deepen their relations for the benefit of citizens.

"The Republic of Zimbabwe and the United Republic of Tanzania enjoy a long, historical, strategic relationship. It is a relationship which is based on fundamental principles to ensure that Africans are not only politically emancipated, but they (also) take their share in global affairs," said Prof Kabudi.

"We have been together -- Zimbabwe and Tanzania -- through thick and thin; good and worse and our friendship is a tested friendship."

He said each time he meets Zimbabweans they tell him that Harare owes Dar es Salaam "a lot" for the role the East African country played during the liberation struggle.

However, he said Zimbabwe "owes us nothing", as their participation and contribution to the Zimbabwe and other African countries' liberation wars "was our duty and responsibility".

Prof Kabudi added that Zimbabwe and Tanzania have "very good" relations bilaterally.

"So indeed this visit is aimed at consolidating that cordial, good, fraternal relationship at a high level," he said.

The higher level of cooperation is expected in areas of economics, defence, and diplomacy, among others.

Prof Kabudi said they want all forms of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West to be removed as a matter of urgency.

"We would want the sanctions to be lifted today not tomorrow and we will do whatever is in our ability to ensure we continue telling other countries that it's high time sanctions are lifted and Zimbabwe is allowed to trade freely.

"Let me tell you, Zimbabwe is a great country," he said, adding that it will succeed and become "great again".

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Moyo also said the two countries "enjoy good relations".

"We greatly appreciate the sacrifices made by the people of Tanzania," he said.

He said the intervention of Heads of State should result in citizens benefiting from the bilateral relations.

Dr Moyo said the approaches of President Magufuli and President Mnangagwa were similar as the two leaders are "result-oriented".

". . . they want results and it is in this context that we want to revive this Joint (Permanent) Commission," he said.

During President Mnangagwa's visit to Tanzania in July last year, an agreement was struck that the next Joint Permanent Commission must be in the first quarter of 2020.

But Dr Moyo proposed that a midterm review be done this year to "concretise issues" which are critical to ensuring that they have a "clear-cut way forward and action plan" which the Bi-National Commission (BNC) will deal with.

President Magufuli earlier visited the National Heroes Acre where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

He was accompanied by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema.

He inspected a quarter guard mounted by members of the Presidential Guard before proceeding to lay a wreath.

National Museums and Monuments resident curator Ms Rumbidzai Bvira narrated the history behind the construction of the national shrine by before conducting a brief tour.

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