Source: India to support Zimbabwe’s health sector – Sunday News Nov 4, 2018
Kuda Bwititi, Harare Bureau
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday invited India to increase its footprint in Zimbabwe’s health sector as the two countries continue to deepen political and economic ties.
He said this after meeting India’s Vice-President Shri Venkaiah Naidu at State House, Harare.
Asia’s third-biggest economy has offered immediate assistance through providing drugs and ambulances. VP Naidu is the highest-ranking Indian government official to visit Zimbabwe in more than two decades.
Addressing journalists at State House after meeting VP Naidu, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe would benefit immensely from India’s remarkable in advances medical sciences.
“As we all know, India has excelled . . . in terms of economic development, particularly in the area of medicine. India is being rated worldwide as one of the most modern, highly qualified centres in the whole world.
“Zimbabwe does not intend to reinvent the wheel. We need to leapfrog and go India, have assistance from India for our people in that sector, to leapfrog and catch up with modern medical practices in India. In fact, we would want India to have a high footprint here in Zimbabwe. We have discussed that and we feel that the opportunity is there. We, as Zimbabwe, are ready, willing and committed to have the Indian government and through their companies to come and establish pharmaceutical companies in Zimbabwe,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the visit by India’s VP soon after the July 30 harmonised elections showed willingness to work with the new administration.
“We are delighted that a man of his stature has visited Zimbabwe. His Excellency is coming immediately after our harmonised general elections, which we concluded some seven or so weeks ago, which means that our brothers and sisters in India have a very high respect for the people of Zimbabwe and this is why immediately after the inauguration of the current dispensation, he has been able to come.
“Yes, of course, some months ago, we also sent our Vice-President (Dr Constantino) Chiwenga as a Special Envoy to India to convey to my counterpart that we want to continue and heighten relations between our two countries. I am so happy with the response by the Vice-President himself that he has come to fulfil that which exists between Zimbabwe and India. I am sure the Zimbabwean people know that India has assisted us in the field of energy and railway all along, even during the period of isolation.”
VP Naidu said India was willing to assist Zimbabwe’s health sector.
“I am very happy that you want India’s pharmaceutical companies to come to Zimbabwe; they are willing. On the medicines side, we are competing with the best in the world. Prices have come down because of new innovations created by India. We are happy to announce that we will be assisting with 10 ambulances. We will also be giving life-saving drugs to the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
VP Naidu said he was “very happy about the way the elections” were conducted.
“They were free and fair, there was democracy and we, as India, promote democracy in the world. We are very happy about the smooth conduct of elections. The Indian Electoral Commission, our people, observed the elections and they had good experiences. They reported back to us and they said elections were very free and fair. We are very happy about it and we commend the people of Zimbabwe for the peaceful conduct during the elections.”
He said India’s government would establish a centre to honour iconic former Indian leader Mahatma Ghandi.
“I have expressed my willingness to His Excellency of my preparedness to set up the Mahatma Gandhi Commemoration Centre here. We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Gandhi and I also hope that we can do it here in a big way.”
He commended Zimbabweans for being hospitable to the Indian community in the country.
“We have heard a lot about the leadership of President Mnangagwa. He is very friendly and he has promised that we take our relationship to greater heights. The Indian community here is large, we spent time last night, there were about 300 of them, they were quite happy, they are a large number and we are also happy with the people of Zimbabwe for the hospitality that they have shown in assisting them.”