by MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare / SAVIOUS KWINIKA in Joburg
HARARE, (CAJ News) – BOTSWANA and South Africa are to cement bilateral ties with neighbouring Zimbabwe in the coming weeks, in a move anticipated
to resolve the country’s economic and political problems.
Mokgweetsi Masisi, the Botswana president, is set to visit Harare on Thursday for the first time since he assumed the position last year. He becomes the first Botswana head of state to visit Zimbabwe after years of diplomatic tiffs between the two countries.
Botswana and Zimbabwe will sign eight Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and agreements covering political and diplomatic, economic, social, and defence and security sectors.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa will be in Harare on March 12 for the Third session of the two countries’ Bi-National Commission (BNC).
David Hamadziripi, Zimbabwe Ambassador to South Africa, confirmed the BNC would focus on reviewing co-operation across a range of economic agreements between the two neighbouring countries.
The BNC last met in Pretoria in October 2017, a month before Robert Mugabe was forced to resign as Zimbabwean president.
“We expect issues around trade and investment, energy, transport, health, security and defence among others to be the major talking points,” Hamadziripi explained the BNC agenda.
The visits come as Zimbabwean president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is expected to take over as the next Southern African Development Community (SADC)
regional chair on Politics, Defence and Security.
Zimbabwe, which is under sanctions from the West, is also enhancing ties with other regional member states of Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), eSwatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia.
Zimbabwe is also intensifying relations with Eurasian countries including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan.
Mnangagwa has the backing of the world’s second largest economy, China.
Re-engagement efforts with Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong are also underway.
In a move to beat illegal sanctions, Zimbabwe is also increasing close ties with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) nations to repel Western economic embargoes following its land reform program.
- CAJ News