Farirai Machivenyika in MAPUTO, Mozambique
President Mnangagwa yesterday commended African leaders for increasingly respecting diversity of opinions in their nations saying such an attribute is critical for development.
The President said this in an interview after attending the inauguration of Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi at the Independence Square in Maputo yesterday.
He also commended President Nyusi for preaching unity in his acceptance speech after taking his oath of office.
In his address, President Nyusi, who is now serving his second and final term, said people should not be afraid of diverse opinions.
“I have always insisted that let us not be afraid of those who think differently. It is in the different thinking where we find alternatives to solve our problems. Treaties and agreements are indispensable to settle conflicts but it is in the respect of those who hold different views where the key for a true reconciliation of Mozambican brothers and sisters is,” said President Nyusi.
President Mnangagwa later said President Nyusi’s sentiments spoke to the thrust adopted by the current crop of African leaders.
“The current crop of leaders in the Sadc region as a whole and to some extent the continent, have embraced the view that we must have everybody on board,” he said.
“Let every African on the continent be proud to be African and be patriotic about their countries. With differences, it is necessary that we can still come to the same table even with those differences; that is the message President Nyusi was speaking about.”
The President urged Mozambicans to resolve their differences peacefully without resorting to violence. The ruling Frelimo party and main opposition party, Renamo, last year signed a comprehensive peace accord that ended decades of acrimony between them.
“But broader than that, he (President Nyusi) says this is the only way stability, development and progress of Africa can be achieved. It can be achieved through patriotism, internally in the country, regionally and on the continent.
“That is the message that we have been preaching in Zimbabwe that we can only grow, develop and modernise in an environment of stability and national unity but it doesn’t mean people should not differ. People can differ constructively and they continue to be proud of being Zimbabweans,” said President Mnangagwa.
The inauguration of President Nyusi was punctuated by a number of activities including performances from various choral and dance groups to keep the 3 000 invited guests entertained.
People started thronging the Independence Square early morning and by mid-morning, the venue was full.
The Independence Square has an imposing statue of Mozambique’s founding president Samora Machel.
Straight after taking his oath of office, President Nyusi was honoured with a 21-gun salute.
Also speaking before departing Mozambique, the President said a Canadian company with mining interests in Africa has expressed willingness to rehabilitate the railway line connecting four countries in the Sadc region, including Zimbabwe. The company, Ivanhoe Mines Limited, has operations in South Africa and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Yesterday, former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa in Maputo before the inauguration of Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi, where he conveyed the company’s interest.
In an interview with Zimbabwean journalists before he returned home, President Mnangagwa said the proposal presented the opportunity to modernise Zimbabwe’s railway system. “He (President Motlanthe) had a very interesting project. There is a company in the DRC and it’s a huge Canadian company which has investments in South Africa and also in the DRC.They would want to modernise the railway line from DRC through Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa and this requires the cooperation of the four States.
“For us, this is an opportunity for Zimbabwe’s railways to benefit from the regional expansion and modernisation of the railway system,” President Mnangagwa said.
Government recently cancelled a tender it had awarded to DIDG-Transnet consortium for the recapitalisation of NRZ after it failed to fulfil its contractual obligations.
Ivanhoe, formerly called Ivanplats, is based in Vancouver, Canada and its projects include the platinum Platreef project located in the Northern Limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex and the Kipushi project on the DRC copper belt.
The President also met African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina, who expressed the bank’s continued interest in assisting Zimbabwe.
The President said he had thanked Mr Adesina for the bank’s assistance to Zimbabwe over the years. “We thanked him as the President of the bank, that he has assisted Zimbabwe. Each time we have sought to be assisted, the bank has risen to the challenge and we were briefing each other about the challenges Zimbabwe is facing now and the possibility of the bank extending lines of credit to Zimbabwe.The signs are very positive that we should continue to have that cooperation.”
He added that there was discussion with other financial institutions to resume assistance to Zimbabwe.
“The bank is doing their best to discuss with other financial institutions to say the challenges facing the country don’t call for the insistence by many international institutions to continue denying Zimbabwe lines of credit.
“It’s unjustifiable and most irresponsible on the part of such institutions because Zimbabwe like any other country would want to develop and not interfere in other countries’ affairs. We are reforming politically and economically and are a stable country,” President Mnangagwa said.
Apart from President Mnangagwa, the presidents of Zambia, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Portugal, Madagascar, Rwanda and the Prime Ministers of Tanzania and Eswatini were also present. The President returned home last night.
He was received at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by his two Deputies, Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi, Ministers Owen Ncube (State Security), Kazembe Kazembe (Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage), Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and service chiefs.