Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is on his first visit to South Africa in 21 years seeking funds for his country’s crumbling economy, VenturesAfrica reports.
South Africa is home to 3 million Zimbabwean refugees.
Removing all blockages from trade and economic relations will be the focus of the visit, said Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, International Relations Minister. Trade and business will be discussed with Mugabe and business delegations from the two countries will meet.
Some social media networks focused on President Robert Mugabe’s red carpet welcome and the 21-gun salute he got at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, TimesLive reports.
Criticism against Mugabe by the Jacob Zuma administration soured the relationship — mainly due to Mugabe’s lack of presidential term limits, according to VenturesAfrica.
Economic and political refugees from Zimbabwe flooded into neighboring South Africa by the millions in recent years.
Economic analysts predict Zimbabwe’s economy will decline in 2015, the result of rigid economic policies and the future looks bleak for Zimbabweans, VenturesAfrica reports.
The country’s five-year economic blueprint – the Zimbabwe Agenda for Social and Economic Transformation – isn’t expected to turn around the economy, analysts say. Policies such as the black economic empowerment program discourage foreign direct investment. “In the face of this, Mugabe has sought to pocket his pride in a bid to attract some funds needed to stimulate economic growth,” VenturesAfrica reports.