Zimbabwe has invited President Joyce Banda to officially open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (Zitf) in Bulawayo later this month.
Zimbabwe Minister of Industry and Commerce Welshman Ncube reported and confirmed the invitation toNewZimbabwe.com that the President would visit that country at the invitation of President Robert Mugabe.
“This year’s trade fair is being officially opened by Joyce Banda, the Malawian President. She is coming at our invitation and that of the President,” Ncube said.
Zimbabwe’s premier trade showcase runs from 23 to 27 April 2013.
The trip would be Banda’s first official visit to Zimbabwe since taking over power after the death last April, of Bingu wa Mutharika, who was a close ally of Mugabe.
After the death of Mutharika, a Zanu PF politburo member, Jonathan Moyo, claimed that Mutharika was murdered by his enemies who may have used Nigerian prophet TB Joshua to divert attention from their conspiracy.
Following the ascendancy of Banda to the presidency, Zimbabwe started to deliver two million litres of fuel to Malawi in part payment of a $24 million loan Harare owed Lilongwe for maize supplies.
The late Mutharika supplied maize to help Zimbabwe address biting shortages of the staple in 2007 and did not press his close friend, Mugabe, for payment.
But Banda dispatched her former Minister of Energy, Cassim Chilumpha, to Harare to push for payment as Malawi reeled from an economic crisis characterised by acute foreign currency shortages that led to fuel shortages.