Belarus has offered Zimbabwe a facility of 500 buses to modernise its mass public transport system, as the recent visit by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to Eurasia begins to yield fruit.
The Head of State and Government visited Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in a week-long tour of the subcontinent.
In their meeting, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko offered Zimbabwe 500 buses, a boost for the country which is moving towards mass public transportation in line with both the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and Vision 2030 blueprints.
Briefing journalists after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said: “Belarus has offered to help develop Zimbabwe as a regional transport hub using its own experiences.
“Belarus also offered to provide Zimbabwe with an initial 500 buses with the possibility of increasing the number in future.”
“The TSP talks about modernising public transport and this is part of that. We know our people are suffering a lot and Government interventions have given a relief to our people in the urban areas but there is still a lot more work to be done to make sure we give that kind of relief to people in rural areas and inter-city.”
It is estimated that over one million people use the urban transport system countrywide.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the Government was looking at the latest offer.
“It is really an offer from Belarus that we have to evaluate and see how we can obviously take,” he said.
During their talks, Presidents Mnangagwa and Lukashenko advanced a grand infrastructure scheme in road and rail network that could make Zimbabwe a regional transport and logistics hub.
It is being formulated under a tripartite arrangement involving Zimbabwe, Belarus and China, to link the Indian and Atlantic oceans, across Southern Africa and through Zimbabwe.
A joint venture company will in the coming weeks be registered to advance the ambitious project, underlining Belarus’ importance as a mechanisation partner following recent successes in equipping Zimbabwe’s agriculture and mining sectors.