Malawi supports Zimbabwe’s bid  to rejoin Commonwealth Dr Jenfan Muswere

Nqobile Tshili, [email protected] 

MALAWIAN President Lazarus Chakwera supports Zimbabwe’s bid to rejoin the Commonwealth and has wished President Mnangagwa success as the country heads towards the harmonised elections in August.

Last week President Mnangagwa was in Malawi on a three-day State Visit at the invitation of President Chakwera.

The two leaders held a Bilateral Summit at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on 1 June 2023 during which political, economic and social developments in both countries were discussed.

Presidential Affairs and Monitoring of Government Programmes Minister Joram Gumbo yesterday briefed Cabinet on President Mnangagwa’s visit to Malawi, describing the visit as a success with both Heads of States presiding over the signing of nine Memoranda of Understanding in various fields.

Dr Joram Gumbo

Presenting a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday, Information Communication Technology (ICT), Postal and Courier Services Minister and acting Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere said President Chakwera stands with Zimbabwe in its reengagement policy thrust. 

“His Excellency Dr Lazarus Chakwera also noted the application by Zimbabwe to re-join the Commonwealth and reiterated Malawi’s firm support for Zimbabwe’s application and wished President Mnangagwa and the people of Zimbabwe, successful and peaceful elections in August 2023,” said Dr Muswere.

He said President Mnangagwa also paid homage to his Malawian counterpart for standing with Zimbabwe in calling for the removal of illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the United States, the UK and their western allies.

Dr Muswere said the leaders also discussed issues of peace on the continent, heightening the need for African countries to resist external interference on domestic issues.

“Regarding the security situation in Africa, the two Presidents underscored the need to maintain peace, security and stability on the continent. They affirmed their commitment to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of States and to reject unconstitutional changes of governments as well as interference in domestic political processes of African countries by external forces,” he said.

Dr Muswere said before President Mnangagwa’s State visit to Malawi, Zimbabwe held the 11th session of Zimbabwe- Malawi Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) from Saturday May 28 to Tuesday 30 May.

Dr Muswere said the meeting saw the signing of MoUs in Local Government, Promotion of Community Development, Women Empowerment and Gender Affairs; Information and Broadcasting; Immigration Cooperation and Forestry Management.

He said other MoUs were signed between Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Zimbabwe Inter-Africa News Agency (NEW ZIANA) and the Malawi News Agency (MANA).

Dr Muswere said Malawi expressed gratitude for the humanitarian support that the Government and people of Zimbabwe continue to give to the victims of Cyclone Freddy through the Zim-Aid Agency.

“Zimbabwe reaffirmed its deepest sympathies and continued solidarity with the Government of the Republic of Malawi and the bereaved families during this challenging period. Zimbabwe and Malawi reaffirmed their commitment to support each other’s candidatures and positions at the regional, continental and multilateral fora,” he said.

“In this spirit, Zimbabwe requested the support of Malawi for its bid for a Non-Permanent Seat in the United Nations Security Council for the 2027 to 2028 period.” 

Meanwhile, Dr Muswere said Cabinet approved the Parks and Wildlife Amendment Bill which will operationalise funding for victims of human and wildlife conflict.

The Bill will also ensure that communities within wildlife border areas benefit from local resources.

Attorney-General Prince Machaya presented before Cabinet the Parks and Wildlife Amendment Bill, 2023 before it was approved.

Minister Jenfan Muswere

Dr Muswere said amending the law will enable sustainable usage of wildlife resources. 

He said the new law will enable the public to benefit from wildlife resources within their communities.

“The nation is informed that amendment of the Bill has been necessitated by the need to broaden the scope of the Parks Act through harmonising the Act with all other wildlife legislation and including other properties that were acquired by Government on behalf of the Parks and Wildlife Authority,” said Minister Muswere.

“The Bill will also provide for the sustainable utilisation, sustainable development, the precautionary principle, community participation, access and benefit-sharing and to take into cognisance regional and international instruments on wildlife.”

Minister Muswere said victims of human animal conflict are expected to benefit from the amendments of the law as funds will be created to cater for their needs.

“The Bill will provide for the creation of a Human-Wildlife Conflict Relief Fund which will offer some monetary relief to victims of human-wildlife conflict. The Amendment Bill will repeal the Quelea (Control) Act (Chapter 19:10) and the Trapping of Animals Act (Control) (Chapter20:21) and will align the Act to the Constitution,” he said. — @nqotshili

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