Felex Share Senior Reporter
President Mnangagwa is a visionary leader whose efforts in turning around Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes should be supported, a top envoy has said.
Namibian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Balbina Pienaar said her country had confidence in Zimbabwe’s new administration.
She made the remarks after paying a courtesy call on Acting President Dr Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa Offices yesterday.
“The issue I came to reinforce is that Namibia is having so much confidence in the Government of the day under the leadership of His Excellency Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa,” she said.
“He is a very visionary leader, transformational.
“As a sister nation, we are quite impressed in the way the political transition was handled. This is really the best practice in Sadc and the entire world.
“It is quite important to emphasise that as a close ally of Zimbabwe, Namibia stands steadfast, supporting all the current efforts of the Government and the people of Zimbabwe.”
Ms Pienaar said existing relations between the two countries should be strengthened.
“The relations have been there for many years and it is a continuation of efforts, activities, programmes and projects on the table,” she said.
“In terms of new investments, during the official visit of President Hage Geingob here last year, he had a one-on-one with the business community, where we exchanged notes on business opportunities. Namibia is also open for business, we welcome our brothers and sisters from this side to enter into joint ventures.”
On political relations, Ms Pienaar said: “We are ready to strengthen our bilateral relations. We are having a well-functioning Joint Permanent Commission. We have signed legal instruments in various fields like education, mining, agriculture.
“President Geingob’s visit was a sign of the very close bond between the two countries.”
Dr Chiwenga earlier on met South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Mphakama Mbete, who said Zimbabweans living in South Africa were safe, as President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration was putting measures that ensure no harm happened to foreigners.
“Zimbabweans are very safe in South Africa,” he said.
“We are closer than what people think. We have a lot of Zimbabweans in South Africa who are part and parcel of our personal lives and our general economic life.
“Every year we are working out measures and means to ensure that there is minimal harm done to any Zimbabwean.”
A few days ago, protesters turned violent in KwaZulu-Natal province, where they burnt and looted delivery trucks.
Residents took to the streets in protest against local truck companies hiring foreigners as truck drivers.
They complained that the foreigners were taking jobs away from them.
Mr Mbete said he discussed a wide range of issues with Dr Chiwenga.
“It (visit) was to reaffirm the strong bond between Zimbabwe and South Africa, with me coming to meet the Acting President and Vice President whom I hadn’t come to formally congratulate and introduce myself to since his appointment,” he said.
“We discussed a whole range of issues, economic and trade relations. Went on to some specific issues such as the importance of turning Beitbridge into a one-stop border post and the urgency of doing that.”
Commenting on why trade between Zimbabwe and South Africa was skewed in favour of the latter, Mr Mbete said: “These are the things we are going to focus on as we built this one-stop border post to ensure that the trade is of mutual benefit to both countries.
“The premier of Gauteng province, the richest and most important province economically in South Africa is destined to come here soon.
“Meetings are also planned and I have a programme of meetings that are going to happen soon at Beitbridge between the two countries.”
Zimbabwe and South Africa have a Bi-National Commission, a high-level forum of cooperation.
The forum was established to foster economic development and uplift the livelihoods of people in the two countries.