Nduduzo Tshuma in Entebbe, Uganda
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni have agreed to form a joint permanent commission that will enforce cooperation between the two countries on a number of economic sectors and the full implementing already existing agreements.
The agreement saw acting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Professor Amon Murwira and his Ugandan counterpart Minister Sam Kutesa signing a Memorandum of Understanding to form the joint commission before the two Presidents at the State House here.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Mr Kutesa said the two Heads of States discussed and reviewed the state of bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Uganda and observed that although a number of agreements and MoUs had been signed between the two countries, they had not been adequately implemented.
He said the two countries stood to benefit from cooperation around mining, tourism, agriculture, investment, education and air services.
“The Excellencies directed their respective Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs to ensure that all outstanding agreements and MoUs are implemented. The Excellencies further directed the ministers of foreign affairs to convene an inaugural meeting of the joint permanent commission on cooperation as soon as possible with the view of taking stock of and exploring new areas of cooperation between the two countries,” said Mr Kutesa
He said the two Presidents underscored the need to increase bilateral trade by bringing in respective members of the private sector to share experiences and identify opportunities for further investment.
“To that end the two presidents directed their ministers to convene a joint business forum on the sidelines of the joint permanent commission,” said Mr Kutesa.
He said the Presidents also expressed commitment to work closely on multilateral issues of common interest. “To that end the Presidents directed their respective ministers to conclude a memorandum of understanding on political and diplomatic consultations in the ministries of foreign affairs,” said Mr Kutesa.
He said Presidents Mnangagwa and Museveni exchanged views on matters of regional security and stability where the Zimbabwean leader praised his Ugandan counterpart for promoting regional stability.
They welcomed the African continental free trade area that will stimulate economic growth and generate employment and facilitate the movement of services and goods thereby promoting structural transformation and industrialisation of the continent in line with Agenda 2063.
The two leaders called for the reform of the UN Security Council in line with the Ezulwini Consensus.
President Mnangagwa invited President Museveni for a state visit to Zimbabwe.
“The invitation was gladly accepted and the dates will be agreed upon through the formal channels,” said Mr Kutesa.
President Museveni, Mr Kutesa said, commended President Mnangagwa for the undertaking political and economic reforms aimed at transforming the country into an upper middle income economy by 2030.
He called for the immediate lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe for the country to realise its goal.