Zimbabwe, Russia seek to deepen hi-tech links Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga poses with organisers of the Kazan Tennis Academy, one of the official venues for the Phygital Games of the Future Kazan 2024, ahead of the official opening today.

Mukudzei Chingwere in KAZAN, Russia 

THE Russian Federation has attained world-class standards in science and technology and Zimbabwe has reaped rewards from collaborating with the Federation and will continue to seek to entrench this, Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga has said.

He said this after touring the state-of-the-art Kazan Russian Helicopters, a helicopter manufacturing plant. 

The VP undertook the tour on the sidelines of the Phygital Games of the Future Kazan 2024, and is taking advantage of his presence here to pursue economic diplomatic assignments in line with President Mnangagwa’s drive towards economic growth.

On arrival, VP Chiwenga spoke glowingly about the relations between Zimbabwe and Russia which date back to the days of the liberation struggle when the Russians supported the nationalist movement. 

The support has remained steadfast, even after the turn of the millennium, when Zimbabwe faced the prospect of being slapped with comprehensive United Nations sanctions, only for Russia and the People’s Republic of China to veto the move in the Security Council.

The United States, Britain and other countries then went ahead and imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe beginning December 2001, with the aim of unseating the ZANU PF Government in favour of the opposition, which was supposed to reverse the Land Reform Programme.

“I am glad for this opportunity to visit the site of Kazan Russian Helicopters on the sidelines of the inaugural International Multi-Sport Tournament,” said VP Chiwenga, after touring the helicopter manufacturing firm.

“Zimbabwe and the Russian Federation enjoy cordial and excellent bilateral relations. This has translated to robust trade, investment and technical assistance in various sectors of our economy.

“Indeed, this visit has helped us familiarise ourselves with their products and get an insight into their operations. 

“I wish to applaud you, through the Russian Federation, for the technology and skills transfer to the Government of Zimbabwe,” he said.

VP Chiwenga added that Zimbabwe was grateful for the human capital development in the training of pilots to fly air ambulances recently acquired from Russia.

Zimbabwe is gradually developing local capacity to service and repair its own fleet of air ambulances, he said. 

“Therefore, we shall continue to engage and collaborate with the Russians until we are fully capacitated.”

The Phygital Games of the Future Kazan 2024 seek to combine the physical as well as digital aspects of games that can be competed for by all age groups.

VP Chiwenga said Zimbabwe has a lot to gain from such sporting activities.

Already, Government is stepping up efforts to transform sport into a high value industry capable of gainfully providing employment for the youths.

“What is being done here is high-tech, it is physical and digital combined together,” said VP Chiwenga.

“They want to make sure that participation involves all age groups and they see that the future of the Olympic games is going to head this direction, that it will be both physical and digital. 

“The thinking of the designers and the people who came up with this kind of innovation is that they are looking into the future”.

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