President Jacob Zuma is expected to attend the inaugural session of the BiNational Commission (BNC) where officials from South African and Zimbabwe are set to discuss trade, investment, regional and global developments.
The session was set to be cochaired by both president Zuma and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and will see a number of agreements being signed.
Established on April 8 of last year, the BNC was set up to steer bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries, while seeking ways to promote and enhance cooperation in various sectors within the two governments. In a statement released on Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s foreign minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi confirmed that the session was set to take place in Harare on November 3 and would be preceded by a ministerial meeting on November 2.
The key agreement signed during President Mugabe’s landmark visit to South Africa last year was to set in stone the establishment of the BNC, which was signed by Minister Mumbengegwi and South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite NkoanaMashabane, with the two ministers also signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Diplomatic Consultations. In addition, an MoU on Mutual Assistance Between Customs Administrations was signed by Zim Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.
Both President Zuma and Mugabe hailed the agreements, expressing their excitement at the prospect of greater regional integration that will see the upliftment of citizens within the two countries, with Mugabe stating that there is much knowledge that could be shared between the southern African nations. “South Africa is more advanced but there is still more to do in transforming those resources, and that is why we decided to bring together 10 ministers from president Zuma’s side and 10 from President Mugabe’s side and this is not Bafana Bafana, this is warriors,” Mugabe was quoted by eNCA as saying