ZIMBABWE head of state, Emmerson Mnangagwa, today arrived in Namibia on a state visit which has seen the two countries signing numerous agreements in the economic, social and diplomatic spheres to further strengthen the ties between the two countries.
Mnangagwa, who is on a three-day state visit to Namibia, was received by President Hage Geingob and members of his cabinet.
In his welcoming remarks, Geingob stated that the two countries would continue strengthening strong bonds, which originate from a shared history.
Geingob stated that the 9th Joint Commission on Cooperation (JCC) has created joint efforts on economic growth and sustainable development and this bilateral cooperation will be rewarded with the signing of six agreements or Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The agreements, which were signed at statehouse by the respective ministers, include an MoU on the promotion of SMEs, especially among female entrepreneurs, the signing of Terms of Reference and Operationalisation of the joint trade economic committee, and an MoU in Information, Media and Broadcasting.
Other agreements also signed include, the Twinning MoU on Cooperation between Kavango-East and Mashona land west province, an MoU between revenue authorities and customs authorities, an MoU in the field of Science and Technology, and a Bilateral trade agreement.
In his remarks, Mnangagwa thanked Namibia for its material support during the devastating Cyclone Idai, which affected parts of Zimbabwe. He added that the JCC between the two countries will be elevated to a bi-national level, which will be solidified by the signing of agreements during his visit.
Mnangagwa further urged that the volume of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries be increased, further beckoning the private sector to invest more in Zimbabwe as the country has opportunities in agriculture, mining, health and infrastructure.
He added that the Dry Port facility, which has been availed to Zimbabwe in Walvis Bay, will further unlock opportunities for both countries.
Touching on the reforms he has made, Mnangagwa stated that there has been major development within Zimbabwe’s legislative reform agenda, which will help the investment environment within the country, as well as influence the country’s constitution.
He stated that political parties on the opposition front have also been encouraged to take part in national dialogue and discuss the way forward in resuscitating Zimbabwe’s economy.
Asked whether or not Zimbabwe has made any progress in doing away with economic sanctions placed on it after its departure from the Common-wealth of Nations, Mnangagwa stated: “You are aware of the difficult economic situation which culminated from illegal sanction placed on Zimbabwe when we tried to regain our land. We do not regret taking back our land. We have not stuck our heads under the sand due to these sanctions. On the basis of our own resources, and diplomatic support, we continue to recover.”
When asked whether or not the repatriation of land from white farmers in Zimbabwe has brought about a positivity within the countries land productivity levels, Mnagagwa countered that Zimbabweans took their land back not because they want to make it productive, but rather because it is belongs to them.
The president of the longsuffering republic, however, stated that while Zimbabwe’s government will not compensate for repatriated land, it is ready to compensate for improvements made on the land.
He stated that while the country for the last 20 years has not balanced its budget as a result of economic sanctions, Zimbabwe has seen a surplus in January 2019, a sign that the country is headed in the right direction.
Mnangagwa also argued that while doing away with the US dollar has been received with mixed reactions, not a single county has progressed without its own currency.