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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Zimbabwe and Kenya sign 8 MOUs

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

ZIMBABWE and Kenya have signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) to deepen cooperation, with the signing ceremony being witnessed by the countries’ two Heads of State at the Bulawayo State House this Saturday morning.

In the lead up to President William Ruto’s state visit to the Republic of Zimbabwe, officials from the governments of Kenya and Zimbabwe held a Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) meeting where they drafted framework for several Memoranda of Understanding as the two nations expand areas of cooperation.

This Saturday, President Ruto and President Mnangagwa witnessed the signing of MOUs in various sectors, including defence and training, transport and infrastructure, education, investment promotion, health as well as agriculture and livestock development.

Before the signing of the agreements, a moment of silence was observed after the passing on of Kenya’s Defence Chief General Francis Omondi Ogolla as well as national heroes of Zimbabwe who will be buried at the National Shrine on Monday.

Focusing on relations between Zimbabwe and Kenya, President Mnangagwa said constructive engagement between the two nations remains key as they share aspirations to grow their economies.

President Mnangagwa noted that enhancing livelihoods from household level is imperative.

“The agenda before is comprehensive, such constructive engagement is key and must be scaled up for the benefit of the two countries. Home grown solutions by our governments should continue to create and nurture economic systems that improve the quality of lives of our citizens beginning at household level. Let’s forge new partnerships and explore new markets,” he said.

President Ruto used the platform to congratulate Zimbabwe for celebrating 44 years of independence, “We all remember that on independence night Bob Marley sang the song; ‘Every man got the right to decide his destiny. That message is an affirmation of the sacrifices made by our liberation heroes, it’s true today as it was then. The theme for your independence; ‘Zimbabwe @44 Unity, Peace and Development Towards Vision 2030’ was quite appropriate and informative.”

Focusing on areas of mutual interest between Zimbabwe and Kenya, President Ruto said there are much more opportunities to be explored as the two countries seek to increase cooperation.

“I am aware that in the last few days, our ministers and senior officials during the Fourth Session of the JPCC, engaged in discussions in diverse areas in order to make our cooperation broader and all inclusive. They have also considered and concluded eight (8) MoUs. I am convinced that vast opportunities still exist for us to take our relations to the next level from a Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation to a Bi-National Commission (BNC). I appreciate, Your Excellency, your own commitment in this regard,” he said.

President Ruto asked for Zimbabwe’s support after having presented its candidature for the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson for 2025-2028.

This follows a unanimous decision adopted that the East Africa Region submits candidates for the AUC chairperson.

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