President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he wishes to see India leaving a huge footprint in Zimbabwe in the medical and health field.

President Mnangagwa was speaking at State House this morning soon after meeting the visiting Indian Vice President Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu.

President Mnangagwa paid tribute to India for remaining in Zimbabwe’s corner even in the hard times of Western imposed illegal sanctions and called on the Asian country to further assist the country in the economic revival programme and the health sector.

Soon after his assumption of the reigns of power in the country, President Mnangagwa dispatched Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as a special envoy to India expressing Zimbabwe’s willingness and readiness to continue working with India and to heighten relations.

The President said the visit by Vice President Naidu is a fulfilment of that wish and to resume high level exchanges between the two countries and following a long lapse of such exchanges.

President Mnangagwa commended India’s huge advancement in various sectors and especially the economy and medical sector saying it is now rated as one of the most highly qualified and modernised in the world.

He said Zimbabwe will not need to reinvent the wheel in the health sector but will invite Indian specialists to partner the country and leapfrog and catch up with the Asian country in that sector.

He also said Zimbabwe is ready and feels the opportunity is there for India to come and construct pharmaceutical companies in country.

The Asian country has been working with Zimbabwe in the area of energy, railway maintenance among other areas while ordinary Zimbabweans have also been travelling to India for specialised medical procedures.

In his remarks Mr Naidu expressed India’s commitment to help Zimbabwe leapfrog in its economic development agenda.

He said his country is ready to establish a Mahatma Gandi Medical Institution in the country as the world commemorates the 100th anniversary and expressed India’s willingness to continue joint projects and come up with new projects.

He also pledged to donate ten ambulances and to assist in the construction of Mahatma Gandhi Medical Institution.

The visit to Zimbabwe by the Indian vice president is aimed at heightening and further deepening long existing ties between the two countries.

Zimbabwe and India are long standing friends dating from the time of Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence and to date they share cooperation in the medical field and the skills development sector where India helps train Zimbabwean manpower.

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Cain Mathema, State Security Minister Cde Owen Ncube, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet – Presidential Communications Cde George Charamba, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Administration Cde Justin Mupamhanga, Permanent Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Cde Nick Mangwana, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to India Cde Maxwell Ranga, and Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Rungsung Masakui and members of the Indian delegation accompanying the vice president who include the Indian Minister of Social Justice Mr Krishna Pal were also part of the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Indian vice president has saluted the Zimbabwean government for coming up with a National Monument to celebrate the country’s heroes and heroines who brought freedom saying it is an inspiration to the younger generation.

He was speaking after touring the National Heroes Acre in Harare this evening.