The inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission between Zimbabwe and South Africa to be jointly chaired by President Mugabe and South African President, Jacob Zuma, starts in Harare today with a meeting of senior officials focusing on a variety of bilateral issues which include trade, investment, energy, tourism, water and health.
Head of Zimbabwe’s senior officials’ delegation, who is also Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, will host a reception for his South African guests after the meeting this evening.
According to a provisional programme from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as reported by The Herald, on Wednesday there would be a ministerial session that would be followed by the official opening of the BNC on Thurs- day. Minister Mumbengegwi (Zimbabwe) and South Africa International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane are expected to sign agreed minutes of the meeting, agreements and Memorandum of Understanding after which a joint communiqué would be issued.
A Press conference is scheduled thereafter followed by a luncheon hosted by President Mugabe. President Zuma is leading a delegation of eight Cabinet ministers.
The BNC is a successor to the Joint Commission for Cooperation signed between the two countries on March 2, 1995. During President Mugabe’s visit to South Africa last year, the key agreement signed was on the establishment of the BNC, to which Ministers Mumbengegwi and Nkoana-Mashabane signed off.