Mugabe in SA, leaves wife Grace behind

Mugabe in SA, leaves wife Grace behind”

"And she should enjoy it because it will be the last time, if we succeed", he added.

He also said that this meeting will give the two countries a platform to review the bilateral relations between the countries.

However, absent from the travelling party was Grace Mugabe who was at the centre of a huge controversy during an August visit to Johannesburg.

Grace was eventually granted diplomatic immunity and left South Africa with her husband.

Asked if she would be accompanying her husband here this week, a South African official, who wished to remain anonymous, said "certainly not".

Trade issues are likely instead to dominate the meeting.

Ngqulunga said that Zimbabwe is one of South Africa's top five trading partners on the continent, with trade statistics showing annual growth.

The measures are supposedly meant to protect Zimbabwe industry but there is no real evidence that it has flourished as a result of them. Following the introduction of the surrogate "bond note" currency to try ease cash shortages previous year, dollars have disappeared from banks and are now traded on the street and black market at a premium of up to 50 percent. The senior officials have met for the past two days in preparation of our meeting of today.

Foreign Affairs Minister of Zimbabwe, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, said the Southern African two governments should wrap up issues which have always been on their agenda, particularly the establishment of a one-stop Beitbridge-Musina border post between the two nations.

"In this regard, this second session of the BNC will allow our principals, His Excellencies President Zuma and President Mugabe an opportunity to meet and discuss important issues of mutual interest and to further deepen relations between our two countries", said Nkoana-Mashabane.

The visit comes amid speculation that Mugabe could propose that Zimbabwe adopt the South African Rand, the report said.

"The establishment of the one-stop border post at Beitbridge-Musina is an urgent issue that needs our dedicated attention".

Zimbabwe published exchange control rules on Thursday empowering police to arrest unlicensed foreign currency traders and those found guilty would face up to ten years in prison, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said.

"Our two countries stand to benefit immensely from the smooth movement of people and goods through the Beitbridge-Musina border post". Of that time, 60% is spent queuing.

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