Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
Zimbabwe and Jamaica are set to strengthen their bilateral relations following the decision to establish an honorary consul in Harare.
So said Mucharonza Rosemary Muchengeti, Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Zimbabwe in an interview yesterday after presenting her letters of commission to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Frederick Shava in Harare.
The presentation of letters of commission formalized his position as Jamaica’s Honorary Consul to Zimbabwe.
“The opening of the Jamaican consulate in Zimbabwe will strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries,” she said.
“You know that we already have a direct link between the two countries, Jamaica and Zimbabwe, and now we want to strengthen these relations and the establishment of this consulate here will allow us to strengthen bilateral relations in various fields, including sports. , you know that Jamaica is a leader in this field.
“In this way, we will strengthen relations in the fields of sports, tourism, agriculture, education as well as support for applications.”
Ms. Muchengeti added that she hoped to facilitate the signing of several MoUs in areas such as trade, investment promotion, tourism, agriculture and sports.
In sports, Jamaica leans towards athletics, cricket and rugby.
Further cooperation would concern the sectors of health, entertainment and education.
Ms. Muchengeti added: “We also hope that this creation of a consul will meet the needs of Jamaicans residing in Zimbabwe.
“So we will also maintain ours; we have several Jamaicans residing in Zimbabwe and we will assist with their consular needs including issuance of passports, citizenship renewals and other consular services.
The Honorary Consul will also offer services such as issuing visas to Zimbabweans wishing to visit and further their education in Jamaica.
Those wishing to live in Jamaica, a major tourist destination, will also be assisted.
“Jamaica is open for business and is also a preferred destination for living as a family, as a tourist, as a businessman; so we hope to strengthen those relationships,” Ms. Muchengeti said.
The Honorary Consulate will also foster constructive exchanges of best practices in institution building and improving people-to-people and business-to-business engagements.
Jamaica wants to learn in agriculture, film and broadcasting.
The creation of centers of excellence in areas such as sport and agriculture would be explored.
Similarly, Ms. Muchengeti said she will facilitate high-level visits, including by ministers from Jamaica and Zimbabwe.
She hopes that “perhaps in the near future” Zimbabwe will set up operations in Jamaica, to facilitate the rapid deepening of relations between the two countries.
Ms Muchengeti said she will also facilitate artistic and cultural exchanges, with artists from both countries free to visit and perform.
Recently Jamaican Chris Martin performed in Zimbabwe and another Jamaican is expected to perform before the end of the year.
“Similarly, we hope Zimbabwe will reciprocate; we want to see Zimbabwean artists visit Jamaica. We have Zimbabweans who love reggae music so they are welcome to perform in Jamaica,” she said.
Jamaica is considered the birthplace of reggae. It has a lot of African influence in its culture.
The legendary Jamaican artist, Bob Marley, performed in Zimbabwe on Independence Day 1980, and since then a number of artists from that country have come to perform in Harare.