By Hilary Mare
ZIMBABWE’s Ambassador to Namibia, Rofina Chikava has paid homage to Namibia for being an all-weather friend that has firmly stood with Zimbabwe since the liberation struggle.
Delivering her speech at the Zimbabwe independence celebrations in Windhoek, Chikava highlighted that Zimbabwe and Namibia have a long history that back dates to the liberations struggle.
“Zimbabwe is indebted to Namibia’s wonderful gesture of handing over a piece of land to build the Zimbabwe Dry Port at Walvis Bay Port. As a landlocked country we are now sea linked and this makes it easy for Zimbabwe to open new markets in the Western Hemisphere and beyond for its exports and imports. In October 2021, the Ministry of Works and Transport led a Trade Mission Delegation to Zimbabwe, which included the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Namibia Ports Authority, Namibia Investment Board and the Zimbabwe Dry Port, to discuss with the Zimbabwean business people on the advantages of using Walvis Bay Port.
“The Trans-Kalahari and Trans-Zambezi Highways were identified as the cheapest and reliable routes to Walvis Bay Port. Following the promotional visit to Zimbabwe there is already an increase in exports and imports coming to and from Zimbabwe through the Walvis Bay Port. The Zimbabwe business community have also visited Namibia to assess the route. However, there is still need to continue engaging the business community in both countries as they expand their trade through the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” Chikava said further adding that Zimbabwe is making significant head way on the engagement and re-engagement crusade and the calling for the removal of illegal sanctions.”
“I also want to thank the Republic of Namibia our true all-weather friend who has been on the forefront at all international for calling for the removal of the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe. At the global level, Zimbabwe has been burdened by the weight of illegal sanctions for the past two decades which have left us to navigate our own development on our own.
“Zimbabwe has been forced by circumstances to be their own history makers through hard and honest work for our own common good and we are a peace-loving country which is working on upgrading its country to a middle income by year 2030. Therefore, we need the support of all countries in these endeavours,” Chikava said.
In attendance, well respected Zimbabwean doctor practicing in Namibia, Garikai Mushininga, expressed gratitude to President Emmerson Mnangagwa for creating an enabling environment that has opened doors for diasporans.
“We are happy to be celebrating our independence. As diasporans in Namibia, we would like to thank His Excellency, President Mnangagwa for opening doors for us to do business back home and creating a directorate for the diaspora to expedite our business ventures. We are also happy that he has always maintained an open door policy where he has listened to our grievances.
Indeed no one and no place is being left behind. We are also happy that we achieved our NDS1 goals. We are now focusing on NDS2 and hopefully Zimbabwe will be digital economy by 2030,” Mushininga said.
Chikava concluded by encouraging the Zimbabwean Community in Namibia to exchange their skills in the various areas that they have expertise so that we bring the best out of each other.
“I want to quote My President E.D Mnangagwa’s saying that “A Country should be built by its own People”, in essence Namibia and Zimbabwe People should help to build each other’s countries, by putting our best foot forward,” Chikava said.