Fungi Kwaramba in Nairobi, Kenya
CONSOLIDATING existing relations between Zimbabwe and Kenya with the aim of increasing trade and investments is at the core of President Mnangagwa’s State visit to Kenya as he continues with his engagement and re-engagement crusade.
The President, who arrived in Nairobi on Tuesday, was officially welcomed by his host Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Kenyan State House yesterday.
He inspected a guard of honour, which was accompanied by a 21-gun salute. His visit came at the conclusion of the Zimbabwe-Kenya Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) where the two nations agreed, among other issues, to work collaboratively in youth empowerment and women emancipation.
Critically, the third Joint Commission was being held 25 year after the last one, in what reflects the Second Republic’s commitment to enhance relations with friendly nations and build bridges with hostile nations. Addressing a press conference after a closed door tete a tete with his counterpart, President Mnangagwa said the visit aims to improve the lives of peoples of the two republics.
“My visit to Kenya is aimed at consolidating our relations by refocusing our co-operation through increasing bilateral trade, investment in tourism, transport, science, technology and innovation among other aspects such as defence and security matters.
“This consolidation of relations is necessary especially in the face of the growing threat of terrorism on our continent, in particular in North and West Africa as well as Mozambique.
“We also discussed other regional, continental and international issues of mutual interests and concern to the two republics,” he said.
Some of the issues that the two statesmen touched on include the new normal spawned by the Covid-19 pandemic, and resultant suffering including the disruption of economic activities due to the pandemic.
The two leaders reaffirmed need for co-operation to deal with emerging global threats such as Covid-19 and terrorism.
“Both Zimbabwe and Kenya are committed to enhance co-operation towards mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and other environmental issues,” he said.
“The convening of this meeting is a positive development, which shows that our relations are going in the right direction. It is through the implementation of our MoUs . . . that our economies will be transformed for higher standards of living for our people.”
The two countries signed seven MOUs expected to go a long way in deepening diplomatic and economic co-operation.
The seven MOUs signed are; Political and Diplomatic Consultations, Co-operation in the Field of Tourism and Wildlife Conservation, Co-operation in the Field of Civil Aircraft Accidents and Serious Incidents Investigations, Co-operation in the Promotion of Women Empowerment and Community Development, Co-operation in the Field by of Youth Affairs, Promotion of Co-operatives and Co-operation in the Field of Sport and Recreation.
With Zimbabwe and Kenya being both members of Comesa and other regional and continental trade bodies, the two leaders also agreed to co-operate closely so as to increase volumes of trade towards the growth of the two nations’ respective economies.
In his address Kenyan President Kenyatta reiterated his call for the removal of the unilateral sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries as punishment for the land reform programme that corrected colonial land inequities.
“Zimbabwe is committed to continue close consultations in our efforts to strengthen and continue to consolidate the bilateral relations and co-operation between Harare and Nairobi,” he said.
President Kenyatta traced the strong bonds that exist between the two countries to the 1960s when the Shona-speaking people settled in his country, a community which was recently granted full Kenyan citizenship.
After his meeting with Mr Kenyatta, the President visited the United Nations, African headquarters — the administrative centre of two main UN agencies: United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
He expressed gratitude to the UN for the assistance it has availed to Zimbabwe especially when the country was hit by Cyclone Idai.
The President was treated to a banquet at the Kenyan State House later last night.
Article Source: The Chronicle