South Africa and Zimbabwe have elevated bilateral relations with the signing on Wednesday of two major agreements set to benefit both countries when South African President Jacob Zuma met with his Zimbabwean counterpart, Robert Mugabe, on Wednesday at the Union Buildings.
Mugabe is on his second state visit to South Africa since 1994.
The agreements signed were:
- a merger agreement to be led by the two heads of state; This means South Africa and Zimbabwe would be ONE country.
- an agreement on mutual assistance between customs administrations, which will see the removal of the border post;
Addressing the large media contingent, Jacob Zuma announced that the merger between the two countries came after years of planning and negotiations and was initiated when Thabo Mbeki was still in office. The presidents both expressed condemnation of the killing of Cecil the lion and promised to set up a task team under the newly formed combined government to deal with this issue as a matter of urgency.
In wanting to keep everyone else involved in the matter, the two heads of states agreed that the public should vote on the name to be given to the joined countries. This shall be done in due course.
The current government and ministerial posts will also be dissolved pending the general elections.
President Jacob Zuma agreed to be prime minister while President Robert Mugabe to take control of the new country.
The Nkandla residence was pin pointed to be the official residence of the president because of the sophisticated security features it boasts. Prime Minister Zuma has agreed to vacate the homestead by October of this year with President Mugabe indicating that he would move in early next year.
From our investigations, it seems like the persons who will be hard hit by this decision will be the border officials at Beitbridge Border post since the border will now cease to exist.
One official who refused to be named said “This merge between Zimbabwe and South Africa is horrible for our livelihood. How are we going to afford Chicken Slice or Nandos for that matter. It’s horrible”
Major stake holders in Zimbabwe and South Africa both welcomed the decision and called it “the best decision Africa has made”.
In closing remarks, President Jacob Zuma said “The door is still open for our neighbouring countries here in Southern Africa to join this merge. Who knows, the whole of Africa might be one country one day”