Zimbabwean MPs in Kigali on study tour

Visiting Zimbabwean parliamentarians (L-R) Royi Bhira, Kindness Paradza, and Joshua Sacco at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura, Kigali, yesterday. They are part of a delegation on study tour in Rwanda, which includes learning how Rwanda Development Board operates. Emmanuel Kwizera.

A delegation of Members of Parliament from Zimbabwe is in Rwanda where they will visit Rwanda Development Board (RDB) whose model they are hoping to adopt back home.

MP Joshua Sacco told members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Security that the Zimbabwean parliament was currently discussing a bill that will see the formation of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, which they wish to model on RDB.

“The bill is in parliament but we are looking at amendments and maybe benchmarking it on the Rwanda Development Board model, especially because it it is impressive that it’s the second in Africa and number 28 in the world when it comes to doing business,” he said.

Sacco told the MPs that they were also interested in learning how RDB works, how it is managed, and what makes it a successful model.

“We are very interested in the RDB model, the One Stop Investment Centre as well as the One Stop Border so that we can get a feel of how you do it, especially when it comes to minimising bureaucracy…and fighting corruption in the whole process, which is unfortunately still a problem back home,” he said.

The team is also interested in learning about the country’s national vision as a people, the unity and reconciliation success story that has seen the masses come together to rebuild.

“How did people come together and say let’s rebuild together. We are very impressed with this and think it’s something that we can take back home and encourage our people because that’s what we need to move our country forward especially because of the economic sanctions,” Sacco said.

MP Kindness Paradza told Rwandan MPs that if the RDB model works, it will combine the Zimbabwe Investment Agency, the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority and Joint Ventures Unit.

“What we are seeking is to combine everything and have one like the RDB. We are here to learn because what you have achieved since the genocide makes you the right model to learn from and we chose you because we can gain much more insight from here than anywhere else,” he said

Value of togetherness

Rwanda’s MP, Fidel Rwigamba, explained that unity and reconciliation was necessary not only for healing but as the best way to move forward and rebuild.

“We have no special natural resources so human resource is one of biggest strengths. So we made a deliberate choice to be one so that we could grow. Togetherness is the pillar of everything we are striving for. Without it, we would never have managed to be where we are today,” he said.

MP Odette Uwamariya from Rwanda said that though the parliaments of both countries are different, they can still learn from each other.

“We have two different systems and I understand how complicated it can be with a system where in your case, the winner takes all, unlike us here where we share but the good thing about Africa is that we can still learn a lot from each other,” she said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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