Africa Moyo, Harare Bureau
The two-day State visit by President John Magufuli should help to consolidate the existing relations between the two countries.
This was said by Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Minister Professor Palamagamba Kabudi when he met his counterpart, Dr Sibusiso Moyo, yesterday to thrash out co-operation agreements.
Prof Kabudi said the two countries, which share a very rich history that dates back to the days of the liberation struggle, should deepen their relations for the benefit of their citizens.
“The Republic of Zimbabwe and the United Republic of Tanzania enjoy a long, historical, strategic relationship. It is a relationship which is based on fundamental principles to ensure that Africans are not only politically emancipated but they also take their share in global affairs,” said Prof Kabudi.
“We have been together — Zimbabwe and Tanzania — through thick and thin; good and worse, and our friendship is a tested friendship.”
He said each time he meets Zimbabweans they tell him that Harare owes Dar es Salaam “a lot” for the role the East African country played during the liberation struggle.
He however said Zimbabwe owes Tanzania nothing because its participation and contribution to the Zimbabwe and other African countries’ liberation wars was its duty and responsibility.
Prof Kabudi said Zimbabwe and Tanzania had very good relations bilaterally and also in the Sadc region.
“So indeed this visit is aimed at consolidating that cordial, good, fraternal relationship at a high level,” he said.
The higher level of cooperation is expected in areas of economics, defence, and diplomacy, among others.
Prof Kabudi said they want all forms of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West to be removed as a matter of urgency.
“We want the sanctions to be lifted today not tomorrow and we will do whatever is in our ability to ensure we continue telling other countries that its high time sanctions are lifted and Zimbabwe is allowed to trade freely.
“Let me tell you, Zimbabwe is a great country and it will succeed and become “great again”.
Minister Moyo also said the two countries enjoy good relations.
“We greatly appreciate the sacrifices made by the people of Tanzania,” he said.
Dr Moyo said the intervention of Heads of State should result in citizens benefiting from the bilateral relations.
He said the approaches of President Magufuli and President Mnangagwa were similar as the two leaders are “result oriented”.
“. . . they want results and it is in this context that we want to revive this Joint (Permanent) Commission,” he said.
During President Mnangagwa’s visit to Tanzania in July last year, an agreement was struck that the next Joint Permanent Commission must be in the first quarter of 2020.
Dr Moyo proposed that a midterm review be done this year to “concretise issues” which are critical to ensuring that they have a “clear-cut way forward and action plan” which the Bi-National Commission (BNC) will deal with.
President Magufuli earlier visited the National Heroes Acre where he laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
He was accompanied by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema.