Zimbabwe and India have vowed to strengthen cooperation in the health and agriculture sectors, a move that is expected to further strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
This was said by outgoing Indian Ambassador Mr Rungsung Masakui when he paid a courtesy call on Acting President Constantino Chiwenga to bid him farewell.
Ambassador Masakui said they discussed different issues with the Acting President, with emphasis being put on strengthening the health sector by setting up an institution for Indian experts to treat patients in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries.
“We talked about the long term relationship dating back to several centuries,” he said.
“Here is people-to-people connection between the people of India and people of Zimbabwe dating back to several centuries.
“We also discussed on capacity building slots and exchanges that has enhanced our relationship and this is going to continue. We need to do more in the health sector so that Indian experts in the health sector can come in and facilitate the setting up of centres where patients can come and get treated as much they get treated in India.
“The centre can serve as the health tourism were patients from neighbouring counties can come and get treated. VP Chiwenga assured me that this will be taken forward.”
On agriculture, Ambassador Masakui said there was need to boost mechanisation, with an Indian manufacturing company supplying agricultural equipment to Zimbabwe.
“The Vice President assured me that it will be taken up with the concerned authorities to ensure that the mechanisation programme of Zimbabwe can run smoothly with such kind of assistance,” he said.
“The Vice President said he will follow up with the concerned ministries to expedite the process in the best interests of the country and also the best interests of the relationship of the two countries.”
The meeting saw the two discussing strengthening the political relationship which Ambassador Masakui said had grown in terms of width and depth and this culminated in the visit by the Indian Vice President Shri Venkaiah Naidu in 2018 where several MoUs were signed to further enhance the relationship between the two countries.
Acting President Chiwenga and Ambassador Masakui discussed the importance of opening up elections to international observers like what happened during the 2018 elections under the New Dispensation leadership.
“His Excellency E.D Mnangagwa opened up the space for international observers to come in and observe the 2018 elections and that there is nothing to hide from outsiders to see what is happening in Zimbabwe in the political space,” said Ambassador Masakui.
“I implored and gave my submission to him that in the coming elections in 2023, I am hopeful that the same confidence will be displayed by the Government of Zimbabwe in terms of opening up the space again for international observations. We agreed and discussed this expectation.
“I am happy with the kind of co-operation which I have received from the people of Zimbabwe during the tour of my duty and it is fulfilling for me. With a heavy heart, I leave Zimbabwe after having stayed in this beautiful country.”