MAPUTO, President Filipe Nyusi has stressed the willingness of the Mozambican government to work with Zimbabwe to transform the resources of the two countries into actions which will guarantee sustainable growth of the two countries.

He was speaking here Wednesday during the first working visit to Mozambique by new Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is visiting countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). He had earlier visited South Africa, Angola and Namibia.

Noting the importance of the political and diplomatic relations between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Nyusi said the two countries had inherited a common past and were now renewing their commitment to work together for the progress of their peoples.

He recalled Mozambique's key role in the struggle to liberate Zimbabwe from the racist regime of Ian Smith, providing rear bases for the fighters of the Zimbabwean liberation movements in the 1970s.

Bilateral cooperation, Nyusi said, was formalised in the very year of Zimbabwean independence, 1980, with the signing of a general agreement on scientific, economic, technical and cultural co-operation, followed by the formation of a Mozambique-Zimbabwe Joint Co-operation Commission.

We want our commercial relations to develop and to rise to the same level of excellence as our political and diplomatic relations," said Nyusi. To this end, the Mozambican government has been making investments to improve the quality of the infrastructures and services of our ports, railways and roads."

As a landlocked country, Zimbabwe is dependent on Mozambique's ports, and the roads and railways to Maputo and Beira.

Nyusi also stressed Mozambique's potential as an exporter of electricity. He said Mozambique wants to be a reliable supplier of good quality electric power to Zimbabwe.

There is already a transmission line from Mozambique's Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River to Zimbabwe. Currently Zimbabwe is buying 50 megawatts of power from Cahora Bassa, an amount that could be increased depending on Zimbabwe's capacity to pay.

In the past, the Zimbabwean electricity company, ZESA, has run up large debts to HCB, the company that operates Cahora Bassa, but an HCB source told AIM that ZESA cleared its debt in August.

Nyusi believed that the Mozambican and Zimbabwean economies should be complementary, and encouraged the private sectors in both countries to be more pro-active in exploiting opportunities thus contributing to the effective and sustainable growth of our economies.

Mnangagwa promised that the Zimbabwean presidential, parliamentary and local elections scheduled for later this year would be held in accordance with the pillars and principles of democracy.

He told Nyusi he is determined to ensure free, fair and credible elections which would be free from disputes and allow the country to enter the world panorama as a democratic State.

Mnangagwa took office on Nov 24 last year, after the Zimbabwean military removed his predecessor, 94-year-old Robert Mugabe, in a bloodless coup. He insisted that there has been a peaceful transition and that respect would continue to be shown to Mugabe.

Evidence of this, he said, is the adoption of Mugabe's birthday (21 February) as a national holiday, a measure intended to preserve Mugabe's legacy as a leader of the Zimbabwean liberation struggle.