Mnangagwa’s ally Alexander Lukashenko heading to Zimbabwe

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HARARE – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is heading to Zimbabwe this coming week reportedly to cement relations with his country’s new found ally.

In a statement Friday, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Livit Mugejo said the Belarus leader will be in the country from January 30 to February 1.

“The President of the Republic of Belarus, His Excellency Alexander Lukashenko, will pay a State Visit to Zimbabwe from 30 January-1 February 2023.

“During the State Visit, HE President Lukashenko is scheduled to meet H.E President Dr. E.D Mnangagwa.

“The visit is historic, as it is the first such undertaking to a Sub-Saharan African nation, by President Lukashenko,” he said.

Mugejo said the state visit was meant to boost existing bilateral relations.

“The State visit is meant to strengthen the existing excellent relations between Zimbabwe and the Republic of Belarus.

“The two countries have strong cooperation in political, economic, mining, agriculture and Disaster Risk Management.

“Several agreements are under consideration and are expected to be signed during the visit.

“President Lukashenko and President Mnangagwa are also expected to launch the Second Phase of the Zimbabwe-Belarus Agricultural Mechanisation Programme,” he said.

In 2020, Zimbabwe and Belarus agreed on a US$50 million agricultural equipment deal on top of the US$51 million farm mechanisation facility.

In recent years, the two countries have been cementing relations, particularly in the economic sphere which the new government in Harare is prioritising over politics.

Belarus supplied multi-million dollar mining equipment to two state-controlled enterprises – Hwange Colliery and the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDMC) – with similar deals being implemented in the agricultural, transport and energy sectors.

Belarus is a former Soviet Republic which has cultivated strong political and economic relations with Harare in recent years.

This resulted in Zimbabwe setting up a diplomatic consul office in Minsk, Belarus.

Officially opening the consul, President Emmerson said a consul office would offer second tier diplomatic representation, and consolidate expanding business and trade relations with Belarus, an industrially and technologically advanced nation.

During that Belarus visit, President Mnangagwa and the eastern European country signed several economic cooperation agreements with the government of President Lukashenko.

President Mnangagwa first visited Belarus in 2015 when he was vice president to explore trade and investment opportunities.

And in a follow up to the agreements, Belarus head of Presidential Affairs, General Colonel Victor Sheiman visited Zimbabwe on a three-day mission during the same year.

Source – ZimLive