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Charamba eats humble pie

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Cabinet has approved the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bippa) between Zimbabwe and South Korea which was facilitated by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during his visit to that country earlier this year.

Upon his return from South Korea in May, Tsvangirai announced the Bippa, but President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba attacked the PM saying he had no power to sign any such agreements on behalf of government.

A war of words erupted between the Premier and Charamba after the latter “declared” the accord null and void. In turn, the Premier said Charamba should be disciplined for his utterances.

Charamba at the time said: “It is absurd, to say the least. Anyway, as far as I know and I have checked, the President never made any such delegation so in effect no Bippa was signed in Korea. Maybe it was the mock signing ceremony of a Bippa that might be signed in the future by those constitutionally delegated to do so.”

However, Charamba last night confirmed in an interview the Bippa with South Korea was adopted in Cabinet and was awaiting Parliament’s approval.

“The Bippa went through Cabinet and was approved. It now awaits ratification by Parliament and government is now following the right procedure. You cannot bind the country to any agreement before Cabinet passes that agreement,” said Charamba.

Tsvangirai on Monday told journalists that the agreement had been approved by Cabinet and would soon go to Parliament.

“The Bippa has been ratified by Cabinet, it is now left for Parliament, but that should not be a problem,” said Tsvangirai.

The Bippa arranged by Tsvangirai was signed by Science and Technology minister Heneri Dzinotyiwei on behalf of Zimbabwe.

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