Zambia is committed to assisting Zimbabwe with food and will eventually complete delivery of the 150 000 tonnes of maize that was promised by the Zambian President Michael Sata, Zambian ambassador to Zimbabwe Ndoyoyi Muliwana Mutiti has said. Ambassador Mutiti was speaking after holding a meeting with Senior Minister of State Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo at his Munhumutapa offices on Tuesday.
She said the Zambian government agreed to assist Zimbabwe with maize to alleviate hunger, which was affecting people and there was no going back on the deal.
“The decision was made a long time ago that Zambia is going to give Zimbabwe maize,” said Ambassador Mutiti.
“The agreements were made at the highest level and there is no backtracking on the decision that has been made.
“Usually, technocrats work on the modalities of implementing a decision and sometimes they run into bottlenecks and these are the bottlenecks that both Zambia and Zimbabwe are committed to ironing out.”
Ambassador Mutiti said Zimbabwe and Zambia were “Siamese twins” and supported each other in times of trouble.
“President Sata said he does not want the people of Zimbabwe to starve in as much as he does not want the people of Zambia to starve,” said Mutiti.
“We are Siamese twins and one of the thing that Siamese twins do is support each other. Zambia is committed to ensuring that Zimbabweans are supported and that the decision that was made is implemented.” Government has so far received 19 425 tonnes of maize out of the 150 000 tonnes due to lack of funds as the then Finance Minister Tendai Biti refused to release money for the purpose.
The grain was imported under a government-to-government arrangement.
Ambassador Mutiti congratulated Ambassador Khaya Moyo for being appointed the Senior Minister of State.
“I came to congratulate him for having won the elections and having conducted elections in a peaceful way,” she said. “It made us proud as Zambians since we were able to hold the UNWTO successfully despite so much talk.
“We were able to attract the most unprecedented number of participants. Zambia is back on its feet and Zimbabwe is back on its feet.” Ambassador Khaya Moyo also met Norwegian Ambassador Bard Hopland who said his country was willing to exchange ideas and expertise with Zimbabwe on management of revenue from oil and mineral resources.
“The revenue from the mining industry could be managed in the same way as we in Norway through our Sovereign Wealth Fund,” said Ambassador Hopland.
“The fund from the mineral resources is managed by the central bank and is used to develop other industries and infrastructure and also invest in foreign companies through stock exchanges and through different assets.”
Cde Khaya Moyo and Ambassador Hopland also discussed illegal sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe by the West.
Ambassador Hopland said it was important that Zimbabwe’s economy gets going.
“My impression is that there is a general consensus growing that we should normalise relations with Zimbabwe,” he said. “We should like to look forward and try to engage Zimbabwe in a constructive way.”