Sata in Zimbabwe on 3 day state visit
President Michael Sata is in Zimbabwe on a state visit that includes him officially opening the 53rd edition of that country’s International Trade Fair. The President arrived in Harare yesterday at 15:15 accompanied by First Lady Dr. Christine Kaseba and Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister Given Lubinda aboard the presidential jet.
President Sata was met at the Harare International Airport by host President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Grace Mugabe. Several government ministers, diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe and Zambians resident there were also present to receive Sata. He inspected a guard of honour mounted by the presidential guard unit and was given a 21 gun salute.
Sata told journalists at the airport that he felt at home in Zimbabwe. “I am happy to be in Zimbabwe, I feel like I am home.” The two presidents held bilateral talks and signed two agreements in the tourism, science and technology sectors.
President Mugabe later hosted a banquet for Sata and his entourage at the State House last evening. Zanis reports from Harare that President Sata pledged Zambia’s continued commitment to the existing strong and mutually beneficial bilateral relations between the two countries. President Mugabe said he was excited that Sata was visiting Zimbabwe soon after his election as president. He said he looked forward to working closely with Sata for the good of the people in both countries.
President Sata is today expected to attend a wreath laying ceremony at the Heroes Acre and later go on a conducted tour of the Zimbabwe Dairy Board. He is expected to leave Harare for Bulawayo tomorrow where he will officially open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which is already underway. The fair is running from 24 to 28 April under the theme “investing locally, reaping globally.” 37 foreign exhibitors from 13 countries are participating in the fair. ZITF general manager Daniel Chigaru listed some of the countries as Zambia, South Africa, Botswana, Brazil, China, Iran, Poland, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Pakistan. The United States and Britain continue to shun the ZITF. Italy and Germany are the only European Union members attending this year’s fair.
Speakers at the exhibition include Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, government ministers, Africa Development Bank chief economist and vice president Mthuli Ncube.Others are Afro-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce director for international and institutional affairs, Carlos Cerqueria, PTA Bank director for trade and finance George Mudange and the European Union head of delegation in Zimbabwe Ambassador Aldo Dell’ Ariccia.
President Sata is expected back tomorrow.