Republic of Zimbabwe Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Comrade Sithembiso Nyoni. She was pleased with the outcome of the Comesa Summit in Kampala., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
President back home from Kampala . . . as Zimbabwe scores big, asked to give advisory role
Sunday, 25 November 2012 00:00
Munyaradzi Huni recently in Kampala, Uganda
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
Zimbabwe scored big at the just ended 16th Summit of the Comesa Heads of State and Government when Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Sithembiso Nyoni was asked to remain behind in Kampala and advise her Ugandan counterpart how the country is implementing its small to medium scale enterprise policy.
On the other hand, Zimbabwean-born Mr Sindiso Ngwenya was re-elected as the third Secretary-General of Comesa during the two-day summit which ended yesterday.
Speaking to journalists at the Harare International Airport soon after arriving from the summit, President Mugabe praised the move taken by his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni to invite Ms Nyoni to remain behind and the re-election of Mr Ngwenya.
Asked how the proceedings at the summit had gone, President Mugabe said: “The theme (of the summit) was mainly on small and medium scale enterprises, isn’t it? But after attending the sessions, you gathered the impression that that theme was drowned and was just like the usual general Comesa discussion on free trade area (FTA) and other aspects getting the emphasis.
“That was my complaint which I made at the end. I take it made an impression on President Museveni that’s why he asked that Minister Sithembiso Nyoni should remain behind and talk to his own ministers on what we have done here.”
He added: “It’s a good thing (the move by President Museveni). We must share ideas. It gives us a sense of pride of course. We are not really there yet (in terms of implementing the small to medium enterprise policy) but we have tried.
“We have the idea that we must have these village financial institutions that are supported here and there by the banks.
“The women must make the contributions themselves and lending to themselves, fixing also the tenure of the loans and taking care of the programmes themselves.
“They need greater injections and they need also support from the banking system.
“The beauty of what she has conceived as an effective way of going about it is bringing co-operatives and linking them with small to medium scale enterprises. We are happy about it. It was a good meeting.”
The theme to this year’s summit was “Enhancing Intra-Comesa Trade through Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development.”
Turning on to the re-election of Mr Ngwenya, President Mugabe said: “We are glad that Sindizo has been retained, not yet though but when his terms expires next year, he will begin another five year term.
“That’s what we would want to see our people do — showing that they are efficient and that they can attract the support and admiration of others. That’s all.”
The President later joked with the journalists saying: “We are back home and its dry.
“You never pray for rain you people, journalists.
“Do you ever say prayers?
“You only think of news on how to damn this person and praise this one and so on.”