Masvingo - The governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on SME’s and co-operation in science and technology.
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, and his Zambian counterpart Given Lubinda signed the MOUs on behalf of their governments in Masvingo last week.
They met under the auspices of the 16th Session of their Joint Commission.
Both ministers spoke on the need for speedy implementation of the MOUs and completion of other outstanding agreements.
Mumbengegwi said the occasion presented the two countries with an opportunity to reflect on their performance in implementation positions agreed at the 15th Session of the Joint Commission in Zambia in 2010.
“It also provides us with another occasion to identify new areas in which we can co-operate in order to further strengthen and broaden the scope and content of our relationship.
“I am concerned that since the last meeting, a number of memorandums of understanding still remain outstanding.
“This is an indictment on those of us whose responsibility is to implement the decisions we make for the betterment of the lives of our people.
“It also stymies development in our two countries and defeats the purpose of co-operation through the vehicle of these Joint Commissions,” said Mumbengegwi.
“We must implement the MOU on Diplomatic Consultations that we signed in 2010. This mechanism provides for a follow up on the implementation of the agreed decisions.
“This mechanism should be the bedrock of our diplomatic activities in our quest to ensure that Joint Commissions are not merely talk shows but lead to tangible programmes,” he added. Minister Mumbengegwi underscored the importance of co-operation in SMEs and science and technology.
“The instrument on social services should enable us to co-operate in providing better services to the less privileged members of the society.
“Labour-related issues are cross-boundary, hence we need to share ideas on how to improve the welfare of our workers, in order to safeguard their dignity,” he said.
Mumbengegwi hailed Zambia and Zimbabwe’s commitment towards implementation of the Batoka Hydro-Electric Power Project along the shared Zambezi watercourse.
“It is urgent that we alleviate the power deficiencies being experienced in the two countries, as this negatively impacts on the growth of our economies and the welfare of our peoples.
“I want to take this opportunity to also commend the general co-operation that exists between our power utilities. “They have clearly demonstrated that we as one people are still prepared to share the little that is available. This is a mark of true friendship,” he said.
At the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in April this year, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and President Michael Sata of Zambia signed two MOUs on Co-operation in Youth Affairs and Tourism.
The latter led to the conclusion and signing of a bilateral agreement on the co-hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General in Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia) from August 24 to 29, 2013.