By Oleen Ndori
The third session of the Zimbabwe-Kenya Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation has opened in Nairobi, Kenya, with discussions on the Memoranda of Agreements signed at the last JPCC.
Zimbabwe and Kenya share cordial relations, with several memoranda of agreements signed between the two countries in different sectors led by tourism.
Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary, Ambassador James Manzou called on the two countries to broaden their scope of ties.
“Under the economic cluster, I am pleased to note that there are draft Agreements and MoUs at different stages of negotiations and these include; the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA), the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement (DTAA) and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Tourism and Wildlife Conservation,” he said.
“It is imperative for our two countries to quickly negotiate and conclude these legal instruments as they are pivotal to closer economic cooperation between our two countries. In the social and cultural cluster, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Promotion of Cooperative Development and the MoU on the Promotion of Women Empowerment and Community Development stand out among those that need to be fast-tracked because of our important contribution to the welfare of communities in both countries.”
He added that the two countries need to review and find balanced footing after they were suspended from international football by FIFA.
“Of, course this is not to forget the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the Field of Sport and Recreation. Sport is no longer a pass-time but a source of employment and livelihood for many athletes internationally. We acknowledge that Kenya has done well in this area, especially in the middle and long-distance races. We in Zimbabwe hope to learn from our Kenyan colleagues how it is done through closer collaboration. In the field of soccer, I note that both Kenya and Zimbabwe recently suffered the similar fate of after FIFA imposed bans on our national soccer organizations. We urgently need to exchange views and strategise on how to resolve the issues involved,” he said.
Kenya’s Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and co-Chair of the Senior Officials meeting of the Zimbabwe – Kenya Joint JPCC, Ambassador Macharia Kamau, while applauding development of areas of cooperation between the two sister republics, condemned the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West as an impediment to the country’s growth.
The senior official meeting will be held this Tuesday with its outcomes expected to be tabled when President Emmerson Mnangagwa travels to Kenya tomorrow for the meeting for the meeting with his counterpart, President Uhuru Kenyatta, this week.