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South Korea Upbeat on Investment in Zimbabwe in Discussions With PM Tsvangirai

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change said Roy Bennett, the party’s treasurer and a Senate member, must be sworn in as deputy agriculture minister even if the state is appealing his acquittal on treason charges

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met Monday in Seoul with his South Korean counterpart, Chung Un-chan for discussions on bilateral issues culminating in the signing of an investment protection agreement between the two countries, a spokesman for Mr. Tsvangirai said.

Reports from Seoul said Mr. Tsvangirai also met with industrialists and urged them to bring their businesses to Zimbabwe, telling them the country was safe for investment and that it offered many opportunities.

South Korean Prime Minister Un-chan told Mr. Tsvangirai that Seoul was willing to invest in Zimbabwe, and asked him to help firms from his country to develop opportunities, particularly in the construction sector.

Mr. Tsvangirai responded positively to the request and asked for South Korean investment in infrastructure, construction, and energy and resources development, a South Korean news agency reported.

Mr. Tsvangirai is in Seoul for a three-day official visit and is due back in Harare on Thursday.

At home, meanwhile, Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change formation said Roy Bennett, the party’s treasurer and a Senate member, must be sworn in as deputy agriculture minister even if the state is appealing his acquittal earlier this month of treason charges by a Harare High Court judge.

MDC sources said Bennett’s status will be a top item late this week on the agenda of a meeting requested by Mr. Tsvangirai with President Robert Mugabe, who refused to swear in Mr. Bennett citing the treason charges. Mr. Bennett was accused of conspiring to overthrow Mr. Mugabe's government in 2006.

Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that his party wants to see Bennett sworn into office as soon as possible.

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