Windhoek-Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is scheduled to pay a one-day courtesy visit to Namibia on Monday next week to, amongst others, hold bilateral talks with his Namibian counterpart, Dr Hage Geingob.
The Namibian presidency confirmed the visit to Namibia by Mnangagwa – who ascended to the presidential throne in November 2017 – following the resignation of then president Robert Mugabe.
Namibia’s two former presidents, Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba, attended Mnangagwa’s inauguration in Harare last year and also paid a courtesy visit to Mugabe, who had just given up power days earlier.
Mugabe resigned after weeks of uncertainty in Zimbabwe, catapulted by his sacking of Mnangagwa as one of his vice-presidents, in what was widely reported as a covert attempt by the veteran statesman to pave the way for his wife Grace to succeed him as president.
Mnangagwa will also use the visit to formally introduce himself as Zimbabwean president to President Geingob, who also serves as deputy chairperson of SADC.
“The visit is being conducted in the interest of further strengthening the existing excellent bilateral relations between Namibia and Zimbabwe and to consider new possible areas of cooperation,” said Albertus Aochamub, press secretary in the Namibian presidency.
Trade between Namibia and Zimbabwe generated only N$24 million (about US$1.9 million) in 2016, a situation that President Geingob said was unacceptable.
“This is in part because our trade patterns have been aligned to service the requirements of former colonial powers and partly because many African countries essentially produce similar goods, mainly agricultural and mineral commodities,” Geingob said in a statement delivered during the official opening of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair last year.