At a time when Zimbabwe is facing violent public protests against the massive fuel price hike announced during last weekend, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on a two-week-long visit to 5 different countries in a bid to attract foreign investment.
Mnangagwa kicked off his five-nation European tour with Russia as the first destination. The tour includes stops at Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan, before ending at the World Economic Forum later this month in Davos, Switzerland.
The Zimbabwean president and his delegation met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday. The two leaders held discussions aimed at promoting bilateral relations and current international and regional issues.
According to Africa News, during the meeting, Mnangagwa asked his Russian counterpart for guidance to surmount his country’s mounting economic challenges.
Emmerson Mnangagwa referred to Vladimir Putin as a senior brother and said he looked up to the Russian leader for economic direction.
“Your Excellency, I would wish that we now attend to deepening economic cooperation between our countries, and our country is developing – it is a third-world country – so that you, as a senior brother, can hold my hand as I try to develop Zimbabwe,” the Zimbabwean president said.
After the meeting, officials from Zimbabwe and Russia signed a range of agreements for implementation of a joint project on the development of the Darwendale platinum group metals deposit. The Darwendale deposit, which is the second largest in the world, comprises reserves of platinum, palladium, rhodium, gold, nickel, and copper.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between the African Export-Import Bank and the Russian-Zimbabwean Great Dyke Investments on the provision of project financing by the bank in the amount up to $192 million.
According to Amnesty, at least eight people, including one police officer, have been killed in Zimbabwe, where violent protests are continuing in the capital of Harare for the third day.