Zimbabwe returns to joint projects with Botswana and Zambia

Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa (centre). FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Zimbabwe has returned to the fold to undertake joint projects with Zambia and Botswana, the media reported.

Bulawayo 24 News publication said presidents Ian Khama of Botswana, Edgar Lungu of Zambia and Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe on Saturday met in Gaborone for consultations.

The three-leaders, reported the publication, discussed the progress at the Kazungula Bridge linking Zambia to Botswana, which initially involved their three countries, before Zimbabwe pulled out.

According to Bulawayo 24 News, Zimbabwe was now back on board and the three leaders agreed that Harare will, together with Botswana, also put up a one-stop border post at Kazungula.

The idea

President Mnangagwa was quoted as saying he was happy to be working with his counterparts following a fallout between their countries 10 years ago, adding that the economic spinoffs were beneficial to all.

“Botswana has also mooted the idea of sending its coal from Moropule coal fields via Zimbabwe to Maputo and that the railway line has to be revamped to carry large tonnages of coal,” he was further quoted.

The three presidents reportedly walked on the temporary 923 metre bridge, inspecting the progress and were satisfied by the Japanese company in charge, and which expects to complete the work next year in March.

The three leaders were on Sunday expected to inspect the Kazungula rail-road bridge mooted in 2005 and whose construction began three years ago.

A new page

The Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia relations hope to go a gear up when the three leaders evaluate the progress at the rail-road bridge.

The bridge links Zambia and Botswana but is also the Southern African Development Community (SADC) infrastructure that is a part of the north-south corridor.

The people of Zimbabwe and Botswana opened a new page when President Mnangagwa visited Gaborone recently.

Besides Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the SADC block, also brings together Angola, DR Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania.

South Africa is the largest economy and the most developed SADC state.

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