Joseph Madzimure, Harare Bureau
TANZANIAN President John Magufuli, who arrived in the country on Tuesday, left the country yesterday morning at the end of his three-day official visit.
He was seen off at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice President Kembo Mohadi, several Cabinet ministers, service chiefs and senior Government officials.
President Magufuli inspected a guard of honour just before bidding farewell to President Mnangagwa.
The Tanzanian President, who was initially supposed to be on a two-day working visit and was supposed to leave on Wednesday, extended his stay to yesterday.
During his stay he held bilateral talks with President Mnangagwa to deepen, promote and consolidate cooperation to improve the living standard of the people in the two countries.
Briefing journalists after a two-hour long meeting at State House on Wednesday, Dr Magufuli said it was high time Zimbabwe and Tanzania transformed their relations from political to economic cooperation.
“I really enjoyed staying here in Zimbabwe and I think that the cooperation and bilateral relations will continue. I just came here to cement it. So I can say that I am acting like a catalyst and you know the work of a catalyst, it is to speed up the reaction even if it does not take part in the chemical change,” said President Magufuli who had earlier on given his brief in Swahili.
“So I can assure you this good relationship and bilateral relations between the two countries will continue to exist and we have agreed on several issues on trade, tourism, infrastructure, Swahili language, just to mention a few.”
He also expressed satisfaction with the progress that the country has made on the economic front.
“Yesterday I was saying that the developments in Zimbabwe have improved. It is now almost 3,2 percent to 3,5 percent growth rate and it is my hope that by next year it will go up to around 5 percent.
“So I am wishing you well my brother. It is up to the people of Zimbabwe to give him support so that he reaches the best direction.
“The beginning is always a problem but I can assure you that with Emmerson you are heading in the best direction,” he said.
He also denounced the sanctions imposed on the country by Western nations.