Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter; Pictures by John Manzongo
Zimbabwe and Namibia yesterday signed three Memoranda of Understanding in the areas of women, gender and community development, health and sport and recreation. President Mugabe hosted a State banquet in honour of Dr Geingob at State House last night. The banquet was still on by the time of going to press late last night. The MoUs were signed in the presence of President Mugabe, First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and visiting Namibian President Hage Geingob and his wife Monica Geingos who arrived in Harare in the morning.
The signing of the MoUs was a culmination of discussions held during the 8th Session of the Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Commission held in Harare in the past three days.
The first MoU to be signed was on cooperation in the area of women, gender equality and community development by Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Nyasha Chikwinya and Namibia’s Minister of Gender Equality and Child Care, Doreen Siyoka.
The second MoU on health was signed by Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa and Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and also Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Mrs Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwa. The MoU seeks to promote a framework for development in the field of health through sharing of information and cooperation in the field of research.
The third MoU was signed by Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane and Mrs Nandi-Ndaitwa and seeks to promote cooperation and exchange programmes in the fields of sport and recreation.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said they had discussed various areas of cooperation during the session, including that of energy, human resources development and transport.
“Over the past three days, we have been holding discussion during the 8th Session of the Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Commission where we took stock of the work we have done over the past three years and the areas we would want to pursue,” he said.
“The Joint Commission also noted the exchange of personnel we have had in various areas between our two countries, areas of training we have undertaken between our two countries and areas or solidarity. We recognised the speedy way Namibia has responded when we made our appeals (for relief following recent floods).”
Minister Mumbengegwi thanked the Namibians for the assistance rendered following the flooding caused by Cyclone Dineo. He said the dry port facility which Namibia offered Zimbabwe was now between 80 and 90 percent complete. The Namibian government granted Zimbabwe 19 000 square metres of land to construct its own dry port expected to boost the country’s trade, but due to financial constrains the project had been delayed.
President Geingob arrived in Zimbabwe early yesterday and is expected to officially open the 2017 edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Friday.
He was met at the Harare International Airport by President Mugabe, First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, service chiefs, several ministers, diplomats and senior Government officials and scores of Zimbabweans.
President Geingob inspected a quarter guard mounted by the Presidential Guard, before attending the signing ceremony of the MoUs at State House.