Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe and Mozambique are pushing for the implementation of agreed projects including the setting up of a pair of one-stop border posts at Forbes-Machipanda and Nyamapanda-Cuchamano and the construction of a second pipeline from Beira to Mutare and Harare.
The 12th session of the Joint Permanent Commission on cooperation between Zimbabwe and Mozambique hosted by Zimbabwe yesterday is now seeking action to convert agreements into changes on the ground.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Manzou led Zimbabwe’s delegation, while Ambassador Antonio Macheve represented Mr Francisco Neto Novela, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique.
Ambassador Manzou started by reflecting on the preceding meetings between the two republics.
“Our meeting is being held immediately following that of our colleagues in the defence and security sectors who met in Maputo from October 13 to 15, 2021.
“I am reliably informed that their meeting was a resounding success and that achievement must therefore give greater impetus for our meeting to go a notch higher,” said Ambassador Manzou.
Mozambique provides the shortest route to the sea for Zimbabwe’s imports and exports with the bulk of Zimbabwe’s petroleum imports coming by pipeline from Beira.
“Looking into the future fuel requirements of the country and region, Zimbabwe has proposed to build a second pipeline from Beira to Mutare and on to Harare.
“This is one of the new agenda items Zimbabwe proposed for the Joint Commission. It is my hope that negotiations on this issue will be conducted with the urgency they deserve and concluded,” said Ambassador Manzou.
Work on the transport infrastructure could not be complete without the establishment of the one-stop border posts at Forbes-Machipanda and Nyamapanda-Cuchamano as agreed at the last Session of the Joint Commission.
“The one stop border posts will address the bottlenecks to the smooth movement of people and goods that our people have been complaining about for far too long. I, therefore, urge the ministries charged with this responsibility to redouble their efforts in implementing this decision.”
Mr Neto Novela concurred with Ambassador Manzou that the bilateral agreements should be implemented.
Mozambique has been fighting terrorism and the envoy thanked Zimbabwe for its contribution through SADC, in fighting terrorists.
“We have historic relations and today Zimbabwe is in the front in helping in the fight against terrorism in Cabo Delgado. We need to move with speed in all areas for the benefit of our two countries,” said Ambassador Macheve.