By Nevson Mpofu
Two SADC neighbouring countries Zimbabwe and Botswana have signed a bilateral agreement worth 1 billion Pula in Harare on Thursday 28 February at a ground breaking summit. The agreement according to the two Presidents is meant objectively to honey boon boost existing relations between the two countries by promoting Investments in the Private Sector.
Several memorandums of Understanding were signed in the hands of two Ministers, Sibusiso Moyo , Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations and Botswana Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Unity Dow .This was done in the eye witness of two presidents , Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe and President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana .
President Masisi also handed over Health Assistance worth 2,1 million to work towards assisting on ending health problems the country faces . There are a total of 6 memorandums of Agreements. These are the Extradition Treaty, Diplomatic Consultations, Rules and Procedures governing meetings of the Bi-National Commission in Mining, Geology, and Metallurgy, Co-operation in Energy Sector plus Science and Technology.
Sibusiso Moyo and Dr Unity Dow signed memorandum of Understanding on Diplomatic Consultations, Rules and Procedures. Professor Amos Murwira signed on Science and Technology with Botswana Minister Dow, who heads Science and Technology. The Extradition Treaty was signed by Cain Mathema , Minister of Home Affairs and Shaw Kgathi Minister of Defence , Justice and Security of Botswana . The one on Energy was signed by Jorum Gumbo . He also signed in the field of Co-operation on Geology, Mining on behalf of Winston Chitando the Minister of Mines and Mineral Development.
According to the statement read by the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa , the agreement will go a long way in cementing perpetual relations between the two countries This is an agreement to allow Botswana Business people to invest in the country .
‘’The bilateral agreement is hereby meant to foster economic growth and development. This comes at a time the country is undergoing programs of economic stabilisation. This is also in line with the open door policy to stabilise the economy of Zimbabwe expected to be a middle income economy by 2030’’, he said.
The President of Botswana clearly pointed out that Botswana is ready to take off from the ground with a bang boost business spirit to merge the two countries move towards economic growth and development.
‘’We are ready to invest in the country. We shall make it a billion dollar pula pledge to push in Business executives from Botswana to invest in Zimbabwe under appreciable economic ties of good friendship.
‘’Since we are already from the same economic bloc, our aim is to further see in light of the growth and development of the economy ,an increase in Zimbabwe’s Growth Domestic Product. This will obviously build up to the two countries’ strength in long term economic relations,’’ he said.
Zimbabwe has in its further pledge promised political, social and economic security to safeguard these Investors. However, despite the positive flow of the agreement of sense and mutual understanding, MDC Alliance took a censorious stance over the agreement by criticising the economic merge.
Making a headway kick of negative look at the whole spectrum of the idea, Jacob Mafume Spokesperson of MDC Alliance lambasted the agreement as a null and void consortium of the two countries.
He criticises that the agreement will not see the green light of the day because Zimbabwe is already floating in a mess of several mal-practices. He said these have plunged the country’s economy into a dark pool of failure to deliver by the ruling ZANU PF PARTY.
‘’Zimbabwe is already in its economic challenges which were created and increased at most by infiltrating massive corruption. This is hardy to believe but let us watch where it goes by end of the day. Remember, there are long term standing challenges created long back by the same ruling ZANU PF Party which failed to deliver fruits on the ground,’’ said Jacob Mafume .
An unnamed source in this reading through anonymity request, a big ZANU PF Figure brushed aside MDC Alliance‘s critic tones citing the opposition party’s failure to work towards change with the people. He said the Agreement is a national move to build on the economy not ZANU PF Party.
Opposition is always opposing because they are pushing wrong, negative agenda to make people suffer at a time the economy is building up slowly. We are geared to build up relations with Botswana our neighbour. This is possible because already we have Zimbabweans who are also making Botswana look good. Tswanas have been in Zimbabwe as well at its Universities and colleges learning and also working here over recent years. Both two countries have mineral resources which they can share to build on their economies. We are not just the ones as how MDC sees. We are also to make Botswana gain strongly.’’