President Emmerson Mnangagwa is scheduled to leave Zimbabwe this Monday to attend the inauguration of new Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema in Lusaka tomorrow.
President-elect Hichilema won the recent Zambian presidential election, beating former President Edgar Lungu by almost one million votes.
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He garnered 2 810 757 votes, while Mr Lungu trailed with 1 814 201 and conceded defeat, committing to handing over power peacefully.
President Mnangagwa has since sent his congratulatory message to Hichilema wishing the new Zambian leader well during his presidential term and pledged to work with him closely in strengthening ties between the two countries.
He assured President-elect Hichilema that Zimbabwe would, in its relations with Zambia, build on the deep historical ties forged between the two nations during Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, as well on the partnership maintained by outgoing President Edgar Lungu. He said:
As you assume your term of office, I wish to assure you of my availability to work closely with you to solidify and deepen the cordial relations that exist between our two sister republics for the mutual benefit of our two peoples.
I also wish to assure you of my readiness to work closely with you at the regional, continental and international levels as we seek to advance the ideals of development, peace and stability.
Deputy Chief Secretary – Presidential Communications, in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr George Charamba, said President Mnangagwa had warmly accepted President-elect Hichilema’s invitation to his inauguration tomorrow in Lusaka in the spirit of SADC collegiality. He said:
When the President was in Malawi last week, all SADC heads in attendance agreed that they must attend the inauguration ceremony as part of their support for the political and election process in Zambia, which after all is the cradle of liberation movements in Southern Africa.
Hichilema who is a businessman and politician finally won the presidency with over 59 per cent of the votes having contested five previous elections in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016.
He leads the United Party for National Development.
Opposition MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa was also invited to attend Hichilema’s inauguration.
More: The Herald