Belarus official meets ED

The Herald

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Investment commitments secured by President Mnangagwa during his campaign trail are now being implemented, and yesterday Belarus was the first to send one of its top officials to follow up on several investment deals signed between Harare and Minsk recently.

Chief of Presidential Affairs of Belarus General Colonel Viktor Sheiman arrived in Harare yesterday and held high level talks with President Mnangagwa at State House.

During the meeting, Gen Col Sheiman said the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, had invited President Mnangagwa for a State visit to Minsk at the earliest possible time.

Gen Col Sheiman, who is on a two-day visit to Zimbabwe, is due to meet various ministers and key Government institutions during his stay.

Among the high ranking Government officials expected to meet Gen Col Sheiman are Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, Energy and Power Development Minister Jorum Gumbo and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr John Mangudya.

Speaking during a meeting with President Mnangagwa, Gen Col Sheiman said: “President Alexander Lukashenko (of Belarus) takes this opportunity in this letter to congratulate you for your birthday on 15 September. Also greeting you for your successful victory to become the President.

“One more time he is greeting you. In this letter he personally invites you at any available time to visit him in the Republic of Belarus as official visit.”

Gen Col Sheiman presented President Mnangagwa with a birthday gift of a sword inscribed his name and his popular slogan “Pasi neMhandu.”

The sword also had drawings of a lion on both sides, resembling President Mnangagwa’s Shumba totem.

Responding to Gen Col Sheiman’s remarks, President Mnangagwa said: “Let me take this opportunity to thank you and convey to President Lukashenko that I like to thank him for congratulating me immediately upon my election as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

“I feel very honoured that he has extended an invitation for me to me to visit the Republic of Belarus in the near future. Currently, we are about to attend the United Nations General Assembly (in New York). I will communicate through the diplomatic channels as to the date I might find suitable to pay a visit.

“May you convey to His Excellency that this is really a great honour, giving me a sword inscribed with my name as well as my slogan. This is indicative of how much interest His Excellency attaches to processes and political developments in Zimbabwe for him to know that Pasi neMhandu is my popular slogan.

“I can also see there are two faces of a lion this side and that side. It shows a lot of research has gone into this.”

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo, who welcomed Gen Sheiman at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, said the top Belarusian official was here as the guest of the President, targeting investment in various sectors, including agriculture and mining.

“He has met His Excellency the President and had a one-on-one meeting which was very cordial and in fact, it is basically going to have outcomes and the outcomes are going to be issues to do with investment and taking part in the economic activities in this country in various sectors of the economy,” he said.

“He is going to hold a series of meetings with different ministers as a way of implementing and you are going to be advised at the end of the day tomorrow what will be the final outcome.

“He has been here before and he has brought in quite a lot of investment and financing proposals.

“This is obviously a follow up to that visit he had earlier on. He is a guest of the President, President ED Mnangagwa. He covers all various sectors — mining, agriculture and other areas.”

Gen Col Sheiman was last in Zimbabwe in March, where he oversaw the signing of several investment agreements between Belarus and Zimbabwe.