president leaves for malawi.jpgThe Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi for a 2-day 15th Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) Heads of States and Government Summit.

He was met at the Kamuzu Banda International Airport by Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Malawi, Ms Thandiwe Dumbutshena, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Professor Welshman Ncube, Malawian Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Henry Banda and the Malawian Minister of Health, Dr Jean Kalila.

At the airport, Cde Mugabe said they meet annually as Heads of State and Government affiliated to the COMESA block to review progress towards agreed economic programmes.

The President had been seen off at the Harare International Airport by the two Vice Presidents, Cdes John Nkomo and Joice Mujuru, government ministers, service chiefs and senior government officials.

 

Foreign Affairs Minister Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi left for Lilongwe earlier.

The summit is being held under the theme ‘Harnessing Science and Technology for Development’ and is expected to discuss trade and business investment within the block.

It is anticipated action will depend on what delegates to the preceding Comesa Business Forum will have agreed on.

Efforts will also be made towards promoting regional integration which will eventually culminate in the establishment of a Customs Union within the economic grouping.

The Customs Union which was officially launched in Victoria Falls in 2009 will result in duty free and quota free market access, common external tariff and a Common Customs Management Act.

During the summit, Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika will assume the chairmanship of the grouping taking over from Swaziland’s King Mswati.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joice Mujuru is the Acting President.