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Mujuru hails relations with Cuba
Vice President Joice Mujuru, who is here on an official visit, yesterday held bilateral talks with her Cuban counterpart Mr Esteban Lazo Hernandez.

The talks centred on strengthening co-operation between Cuba and Zimbabwe while the two leaders reviewed relations between the two countries in the areas of health and education.Cuba assists Zimbabwe with medical doctors while thousands of Zimbabwean students have studied in Cuba over the years.

The forthcoming Zimbabwe-Cuba Joint Commission Meeting also came under discussion.

Cde Mujuru said the joint commission meeting was timely.

"It was long overdue that our two governments meet and review our bilateral co-operation and what we seek to achieve," she said.

Zimbabwe, Cde Mujuru said, was grateful to Cuba for training 3 100 students, some of whom have shown patriotism by opting to work in remote parts of Zimbabwe.

Such patriotism was a result of the orientation they got in Cuba, she said.

The Vice President said the 599 doctors which Cuba has deployed to Zimbabwe over the years were testimony of the good co-operation between the two countries.

Cde Mujuru said her visit would enhance Cuban-Zimbabwean relations and between Zanu-PF and the Communist Party of Cuba.

Mr Hernandez said Cuba valued greatly its relations with Zimbabwe and Cde Mujuru's visit would cement the ties.

He said solidarity and co-operation between the two countries spanned many years from as early as the 1960s.

Many Zimbabweans have since then been to Cuba either as leaders of the liberation struggle or students.

"Our commonality of views is well-known on the international scene. Your support for us against the U.S. blockade is greatly appreciated," he said.

The Cuban vice president said his government was thankful of the good care Zimbabwe gave to Cuban doctors working in the country.

"Your visit will definitely enhance that co-operation," said Mr Hernandez.

He said the joint commission meeting was an opportunity to explore new areas of co-operation.

The two vice presidents also discussed the empowerment of women in politics, business, academia and other social areas.

Joice Mujuru laid a wreath at the Jose Marti National Monument, which documents Cuba's struggle for freedom. Jose Marti is one of the greatest heroes of the Cuban revolution.

Yesterday, Vice President Mujuru addressed Zimbabwean students studying here and briefed them on the situation back home. She said following unjustified price increases which were part of the regime change agenda, the Government moved in and froze all prices.

The State also established the Cabinet Taskforce on Price Monitoring and Stabilisation to protect the consumer and put a stop to unscrupulous business practices.

Cde Mujuru said the current economic problems were a passing phase.

The Government, she said, had put in place policies to revive the economy.

One of them was the mechanisation of agriculture to enhance productivity and the rehabilitation of irrigation schemes.

Cde Mujuru said the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West were a result of the land reform programme which Government embarked on to empower people.

But Government would not be deterred and had adopted the Look East Policy to forge co-operation with friendly countries in the Far East to assist it in mining and agriculture.

Cde Mujuru told the students that from next year, presidential and parliamentary elections would be harmonised through the enactment of Constitution Amendment Bill Number 18.

To this end, the ruling Zanu-PF would hold an extraordinary congress in December to nominate its presidential candidate instead of the Annual People's Conference.

Cde Mujuru urged the students to be patriotic and return home to help develop Zimbabwe.

Politburo members Cdes Absolom Sikhosana and Eunice Moyo, Higher and Tertiary Education Deputy Minister Cde Lazarus Dokora and other senior Government officials.

Source: Itai Musengeyi, All

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