Kudakwashe Mugari in MAPUTO, Mozambique
ZIMBABWE and Mozambique yesterday enhanced their long-standing relationship through the signing of an agreement establishing a Bi-National Commission (BNC) that was accompanied by the adoption of agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) in various fields to enhance co-operation.
The signing of the MoUs in the fields of Energy, Justice, Science and Technology was witnessed by President Mnangagwa and his Mozambican counterpart, President Filipe Nyusi.
President Mnangagwa is here on a three-day State visit, his first since coming to power, as he continues to engage and re-engage the world, entrenching ties with friendly nations while reaching out to formerly hostile countries.
Before the signing of the agreements, President Mnangagwa, who was received with a 21-gun salute, inspected a guard of honour and then had a tete-a-tete with President Nyusi.
The four MoUs signed yesterday transformed relations between the two countries from the level of a Permanent Joint Commission, chaired by Ministers of Foreign Affairs, to a BNC, chaired by Heads of State.
The first and main agreement was signed by the two countries’ Foreign Affairs Ministers with Ambassador Fredrick Shava representing Zimbabwe, while Veronica Macamo Dlhovo represented Mozambique.
The other three sectoral MoUs that were signed are co-operation in the area of Justice and Legal Affairs — signed by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, and his counterpart, Hertha Kida; an MoU in Co-ordination of Aeronautical Search and Rescue Services signed by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister, Felix Mhona, and his Mozambican counterpart, Janfar Abdulai, and the MoU on Science and Technology in the areas of Higher Learning signed by Professor Amon Murwira and Mr Daniel Nivagara of Mozambique.
Yesterday’s historic event also reviewed the status of bilateral relations, taking note of growing co-operation in trade and investment, transport, energy, tourism and environment, defence and people-to- people relations.
After the signing of the agreements, Minister Shava and his Mozambican counterpart, Dlhovo, held a joint press conference highlighting the outcome of the official meeting between President Mnangagwa and President Nyusi.
Amb Shava said the two countries share a common view on issues of peace, stability, and economic development, regional and continental integration.
“The signing of the agreements is evidence of the ever-growing co-operation between the two countries. It’s a positive development that shows that relations are moving in a positive direction. There are more draft agreements and MoUs that are under negotiation in the various social-economic sectors that will be concluded in the near future.”
Amb Shava said the two leaders discussed the Cabo Delgado insurgency in Mozambique, describing it as a threat to regional peace and stability.
“The two Heads of State acknowledged that a threat to Mozambique is a threat to all countries in the region. They welcomed the deployment of Sadc forces and also extended their appreciation to the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, for deploying troops to fight the insurgency.”
On the international stage, Amb Shava said Zimbabwe fully supports Mozambique’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.
“Our countries share similar views on the need to reform the United Nations Security Council, to make it an organ that is representative and where the African continent can have a voice.”
At the continental level, the two Presidents reaffirmed the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) as a strategic framework to help boost trade among African countries and economic growth on the continent.
AFCFTA is one of the flagship projects of the African Union Agenda 2063.
President Mnangagwa thanked the people of Mozambique for their continued support and solidarity with Zimbabwe in the call for the removal of sanctions that were imposed by Western countries.
Mozambican Foreign Affairs Minister, Dlhovo described yesterday’s event as historic.
“This is historic; Zimbabwe will remain one of us. We value the deep relations we have shared since the time of the liberation struggle,” she said.
Last night President Mnangagwa, who stayed in Mozambique during the liberation struggle, was treated to a banquet by his host that was also attended by ministers and top Government officials from both sister Republics.