ZIMBABWE and Botswana have signed a memorandum of understanding which will see the two countries collaborating on the prevention and investigation of aircraft accidents.
The MoU is in line with the provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation to which both countries are signatories.
The MoU promotes cooperation between Zimbabwe and Botswana on the establishment and implementation of investigation mechanism, including investigation capacity building arrangements with each other.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said this week that Government has also approved the Bilateral Air Search and Rescue Agreement between the two neighbouring countries.
“Cabinet adopted the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republics of Zimbabwe and Botswana on Aircraft Accidents and Serious Incidents, which was presented by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi as chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation,” she said.
“The MoU is in line with the provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which both Botswana and Zimbabwe are signatories to.
“The MoU fosters cooperation between the two States in investigating aircraft accidents and other serious incidents in order to prevent future recurrence or occurrence of same. As such, the MoU promotes cooperation between Zimbabwe and Botswana on the establishment and implementation of investigation mechanism, including investigation capacity building arrangements with each other.”
In terms of the MoU each party shall establish a working group of specialists to plan and implement technical exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in the field of aircraft accidents and incidents investigation.
On the Bilateral Air Search and Rescue Agreement, Minister Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe and Botswana will cooperate in the following areas: exchange of search and rescue information concerning potential distress situations and supporting each other by pooling search and rescue facilities for operations within their respective search and rescue region.
“The parties will make and respond to requests for operational assistance between the designated rescue coordination centre or rescue sub-centre of the parties as capabilities allow,” she said. “The competent authorities in the respective countries will also exchange information on the available search and rescue resources to ensure mutual knowledge of each other’s search and rescue capabilities subject to the parties’ domestic laws.”
Zimbabwe and Botswana enjoy cordial relations dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.
Botswana has also taken a principled stance on calling for the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and its Western allies.