The coming in of a new government in Malawi will not affect cordial bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Lilongwe built on existing cooperation for decades, a top diplomat has said.
Malawian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Annie Yauka Kumwenda said the bond between Zimbabwe and Malawi was multifaceted as it ranged from intermarriage of citizens, culture, values and history, among other issues.
In an interview yesterday, Ms Kumwenda said the two countries would continue to explore ways to deepen their relations.
Her comments followed the electoral win by Dr Lazarus Chakwera who defeated incumbent, Professor Peter Mutharika in a rerun that saw the country overcoming the twin challenges of Covid-19 and voting without observers.
President Mnangagwa, who chairs the Sadc Organ of Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation has since sent a congratulatory message and pledged to work with Dr Chakwera — the 6th President of Malawi — to strengthen global peace and cooperation.
Malawi went to the polls last week after the country’s constitutional court in February annulled results of last year’s elections after unearthing several irregularities.
Ms Kumwenda said Malawi could not invite regional leaders for the inauguration of Dr Chakwera owing to Covid-19 restrictions.
“Going forward, Malawi has a foreign policy, which guides implementation of international cooperation with different partners. The coming in of new a government will build on the existing Malawi growth and development strategy to maximise the trade and other bilateral cooperation that exist between Malawi and Zimbabwe,” said Ms Kumwenda.
“Zimbabwe and Malawi have had a close history for a long time. They share common values, history and culture. Along with Zambia, they were one country under the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.”
In his message, President Mnangagwa implored parties that participated in the election rerun to accept official results.
Amid tensions between supporters of Dr Chakwera and Prof Mutharika, Malawi — a former British colony — went to the elections but without observers, as is the norm due to hamstrings caused by Covid-19.
President Mnangagwa pledged to ensure that the two countries would continue to enjoy bilateral relations.