Economic boom stretches Mozambique roads, rail

The economic boom in Zimbabwe has overstretched Mozambique’s road and rail networks which are now in need of an upgrade to cope with huge traffic volumes from Zimbabwe.

This emerged yesterday after Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi paid a visit to President Mnangagwa on the sidelines of the Saudi Arabia-Africa Summit, where he expressed the need for infrastructure expansion in his country to keep pace with heightened economic activities in Zimbabwe.

Already, Mozambique, which is Zimbabwe’s gateway to the sea, has been working on its Machipanda railway line, which links the sea to Harare and other parts of the country as it seeks to keep pace with the huge traffic that uses its land to the Indian Ocean.

“The Machipanda railway line from Beira to Machipanda, Mutare to Harare, we are going to reopen it after extensive rehabilitation. I hope the President finds time to come and see what our people are doing.

“We will try to discuss during the time how we can solve the problem; you know, 500 trucks pass through per day and it’s not a small number, we need to deal with it.

“This is a result of the improved economy of Zimbabwe because these trucks are bringing something and taking something back,” said President Nyusi.

He said he took advantage of his presence in Saudi Arabia to engage President Mnangagwa and briefed him on the security situation in the Copa Delgado region, where Zimbabwe is helping quell terrorism.

“I briefed the President about the developments in Mozambique; we are fighting terrorism in Mozambique, and it is necessary to brief Zimbabwe because it is always with us, they (Zimbabwe soldiers) have been training our special forces,” he said.

Increased economic activity in the country has led to a surge in investments in various sectors, notably agriculture where Zimbabwe is now food secure, thanks to the mechanisation of the vital sector by President Mnangagwa.

President Mnangagwa told reporters after meeting President Nyusi that Zimbabwe was now seeking markets for its wheat after recording successive bumper harvests, thanks to new models of farming premised on mechanisation.

“My Minister of Agriculture (Dr Anxious Masuka) is saying there is no way to keep the wheat, there is so much that we have no way to keep the excess wheat; it is just too much.

“He was persuading me to discuss this issue with President Nyusi of Mozambique, (so that) instead of ordering wheat from very far, he can purchase it from Zimbabwe but it is the neighbours themselves who will make the decision whether they buy from us, or they continue buying elsewhere, but we have excess wheat.

“Zimbabwe is now food secure as a result of the model of agriculture we have introduced and we think with this model, we shall continue to be secure in grain,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President said each time he meets President Nyusi, they exchange views about Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

“We are sisterly Republics, each time there is an opportunity we look at challenges facing Zimbabwe and challenges facing Mozambique, and how we can continue to promote relations between our two countries,” said the President.

From sharing trenches during the liberation struggle to wading off white supremacist-backed rebels, Zimbabwe and Mozambique have stood by each other through thick and thin.

And it is in that brotherly spirit that the two sister Republics have now translated that relationship, which goes as far back as the Munhumutapa Empire, from the battlefields to the industrial fields.

Mozambique is Zimbabwe’s fourth largest global export market, after South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and China, and is also Zimbabwe’s fifth largest source market after South Africa, China, Singapore and Mauritius.


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