ZIMBABWE, Botswana and Mozambique are working on plans to establish a railway line to connect the three countries with a gateway to the sea, President Mnangagwa has said.
Further, Zimbabwe and Botswana are working round the clock to establish a One-Stop Border Post at Plumtree-Ramokgwebana.
This comes as Zimbabwe — under the Second Republic — is pushing to rejoin the Kazungula Bridge across the Zambezi River which will contribute to regional growth through increased traffic along the North-South corridor.
The planned development will facilitate trade through reduced transit time for freight and passengers, reduced time-based trade and transport costs as well as improved border management operations arising from a one border facility.
Speaking at a banquet hosted in honour of Botswana President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi at State House in Harare on Thursday night, President Mnangagwa said the transboundary infrastructure projects will further help unlock the economic potential of Sadc countries while contributing to both regional and continental integration.
“As we go forward, it is urgent and important to redouble our efforts to establish the One Stop Border Post at Plumtree-Ramokgwebana border.
“This project will facilitate smooth trade, more so against the envisaged development of a deep sea port and the railway line linking Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana which is under advanced consideration,” he said.
President Mnangagwa also reiterated that his Government remains unwavering in its commitment to the engagement and re-engagement policy as the country seeks to be a friend to all and an enemy to none.
“We are desirous of building partnerships for win-win co-operation and a common prosperous future within the comity of nations informed by the principles of equality and mutual respect as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.”
President Mnangagwa also commended Botswana’s efforts in support of regional peace and security programmes, in particular its contribution of personnel to the Sadc mission in Mozambique.
“These vital regional efforts are in keeping with our rich liberation war heritage and philosophy that, ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’.
“Zimbabwe supports this and other initiatives in the quest to ‘Silence the Guns’ on our African continent, guided by the principle, ‘African solutions to African problems’,” he said.
Addressing the same gathering, President Masisi said cordial relations between the two nations continue to pay dividends in engagements at the political level, particularly with regards to the resumption of bilateral commissions.
“It is important to leverage on this momentum created by the BNC so as to take stock of the implementation of our agreed concepts including exploring new avenues for bilateral co-operation for the mutual benefit of our countries and peoples,” he said.
“I am confident that the strong bond of friendship and co-operation between our sister countries anchored on mutual respect, strong historical familiarity, and cultural ties will sustain us as we join in the fight against these common social-economic challenges including unemployment, poverty, climate change which the Covid-19 had worsened.”
Meanwhile, President Masisi visited the National Heroes Acre yesterday morning where he paid tribute to the late gallant sons and daughters of the soil interred at the revered shrine before officiating at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show.
He was accompanied by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava.
President Masisi, who received a 21-gun salute, laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier regarded as the most sacred part of the shrine where there are too many graves that carry soils from mass graves in Mozambique and Zambia.
It represents those who disappeared and were buried in caves and disused mines among other places.
President Masisi proceeded to tour some of the graves starting with those of the late gallant sons Hebert Wiltshire Pfumaindini Chitepo (former Zanu chairman) and the first grave to be laid at the shrine belonging to Tarcisious Malan George Silundika.
He then proceeded to tour other graves including those of the late First Lady Amai Sarah (Sally) Francesca Mugabe, the late father Zimbabwe Vice President Joshua Nkomo, and his wife Johanna Mafuyana