Zuma and Mugabe: We will not fail Africa

Jacob Zuma says economic co-operation between South Africa and Zimbabwe has never been stronger.

President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa receive Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe at the Union Buildings on his state visit on 8 April 2015. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma and his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe say trade will be improved between the two countries through a bilateral agreement signed in Pretoria.

Zuma was speaking at one of the many meeting points on Mugabe's state visit to South Africa, the first since 1994.

Both presidents witnessed the signing of various trade agreements to improve economic relations.

The president said the economic co-operation between South Africa and Zimbabwe had never been stronger.

"Our deliberations put great emphasis on the importance of signing the agreement on the establishment of the bi-national commission, whose objective is to take our relations to a higher level."

Zuma said the two countries were united in enhancing economic transformation on the continent.

Mugabe added that the new bilateral agreements and improved trade relations with his counterpart Zuma were for Africans and both presidents would not fail them.

Furthermore, the Zimbabwean president said African countries needed to unite and create their own council to demand a permanent place on the UN Security Council.

He also questioned how long third world and developing nations should wait for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and said perhaps the time had come to unite with Asian and Latin nations to demand this.

Mugabe said power was skewed at the organisation as the US, France, Britain, China and Russia retained the right to veto any decision and thus the third world had been left powerless.

"We don't think we're getting a fair deal at the UN."

He said African countries should demand equal power or stop their proposed resolutions with the Security Council.

"Can't we bind ourselves together and say we want a UN where there is participation by everybody and recognition of each country as an equal member."

Grace Mugabe, President Robert Mugabe, President Jacob Zuma and Thobeka Madiba Zuma. Picture: GCIS.