Zimbabwe and Belarus have signed six agreements for economic and social development in the country.
The deals worth US$68 million comprise agriculture agreement for the supply of tractors and equipment to the tune of US$43 million, fertiliser supplies worth US$10 million, Allied Timbers deal worth US$15 million, a joint venture for extraction of alluvial gold and desilting of some water bodies, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Higher and Tertiary Education and Science and Technology Development cooperation, and a MOU on cooperation in economic development and trade.
The agreements were signed by the visiting Chief of Presidential Affairs of Belarus General Colonel Victor Sheiman and the relevant ministers in Zimbabwe namely Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri, Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Minister Dr Mike Bimha, Mines and Mining Development Minister Mr Winston Chitando, and Higher and Tertiary Education and Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira.
Vice President Retired General Dr Constantino Chiwenga witnessed the signings and said the agreements have gone a long way in bringing Zimbabwe and Belarus closer to one another.
He said the mechanisation of agriculture will help Zimbabwe to produce more and export more.
The vice president said Zimbabwe has a lot to learn from Belarus in the production of milk volumes and dairy products.
He revealed that Hwange Colliery has already benefitted from the Belarus consignment of trucks and underground equipment.
The Belarus Chief of Presidential Affairs General Colonel Victor Sheiman said the signing of the six agreements is only the beginning of a long journey of mutually beneficial cooperation between Zimbabwe and Belarus.
He said Belarus will provide all required equipment and machinery for the mining sector in Zimbabwe and create thousands of jobs for locals.
He said profits made in Zimbabwe will be reinvested in the country in new areas with plans already eyeing the ecological sector in Zimbabwe.
Ministers Retired Lieutenant General Sibusiso Moyo, Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and his deputy Retired Colonel Christian Katsande and permanent secretaries Cde George Charamba, Engineer George Mlilo and Dr Desiree Sibanda also witnessed the signing ceremony held at Munhumutapa Offices.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s energy and transport sector are also set for a rebound following the signing of a memoranda of understanding with Belarus which will increase efficiency for the different ministries.
The government says it happy with the signing of the MOUs between Zimbabwe and Belarus on supporting different ministries to foster development.
With government having set itself a work plan that demands accountability on day to day activities under the 100 day implementation of programmes, the Zimbabwe – Beralus MOU in transport and energy will quicken the pace for delivery of programmes in two ministries.
Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Dr Joram Gumbo said the funding will be channelled towards improving the road and airport infrastructure so that the emphasis that Zimbabwe is open for business is matched with supportive structures.
Minister of Energy and Power Development, Ambassador Simon Khaya-Moyo said focus for his ministry will be to improve on solar projects as the country is losing millions in energy imports.
Zimbabwe and Belarus signed several agreements in various sectors and it is hoped the business ventures will aid the ministries in achieving their set targets.