MALAWI President Lazarus Chakwera left Harare a satisfied man after tapping wisdom from President Mnangagwa during a fruitful two-day State visit where investment collaboration in trade, mining, agriculture and social services featured prominently.
President Chakwera, who made his inaugural visit to Zimbabwe since election in June this year, was seen off at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by President Mnangagwa after inspecting a guard of honour.
Earlier, the Malawian President held a meeting with Malawian nationals resident in Zimbabwe, before visiting the National Heroes Acre where he laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“This has been such an emotional grip on my own life to have my elder brother accept me as one of the leaders — the newest in the SADC region. As far as we are concerned I feel greatly honoured. We will get stronger like the President said yesterday, we will resuscitate certain things that had stalled or even died because we are just but one people and our fight is a common fight,” he said.
Speaking at a State banquet in honour of his Malawian counterpart on Wednesday at State House, President Mnangagwa urged SADC member states to harness natural resources abundant in the region so as to improve the lives of their citizens through production and productivity.
The President said Zimbabwe and Malawi, which were once joined into one country along with Zambia during the federation era, needed to tap from the shared historical and geographical backgrounds to enhance trade and cooperation.
President Mnangagwa revealed that during the colonial era, the Malawian ruling party, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) donated Zanu’s first vehicle in 1963, an enduring gesture of the brotherhood that existed between the two parties.
And yesterday President Chikwera, who is the leader of the MCP, told journalists that the journey of the country’s liberation struggle is an inspirational one as it also inspires present generations to put shoulder to the wheel towards economic emancipation.
Earlier, before visiting the country’s revered national interment shrine, President Chakwera met Malawian nationals at the country’s embassy in the heart of Harare, where he was treated to traditional dance from his compatriots who are resident in Zimbabwe.
Briefing journalists soon after the glittering ceremony that was spiced with music and dancing, President Chakwera said everyone, including his citizens had a central role to transform the Sadc region into an economic powerhouse.
“We want to encourage them in their various groups, religious, cultural, professional as well as those involved in trade and investment to continue to work in order to develop the Sadc region in particular and Africa in general. I believe we need to collaborate through innovation and ICT and through that kind of integration like this region, the best region in Africa, and Africa, the best continent in the world, we have the best opportunity and the time is now,” said President Chakwera.
President Chakwera urged Malawian citizens to be law abiding people, saying they were free to have dual citizenship where they retain their citizenship and assume Zimbabwean citizenship.
“Malawi has since passed legislation enabling those who live abroad to choose to have dual citizenship should they desire. So as this country welcomes them to be Zimbabweans they can also continue to be Malawians because we have legislation allowing you to do so,” said President Chakwera.
President Chakwera, who was accompanied by Malawian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mrs Annie Yauka Kumwenda, described his two-day trip to Zimbabwe as a success.
His entourage included his wife and Malawian First Lady Monica Chakwera, and a host of senior government officials who on Wednesday had fruitful engagements with their Zimbabweans counterparts in critical bilateral engagements that resonated with the Second Republic’s thrust for engagement and re-engagement, as well as focus towards achieving Vision 2030, to become an upper middle economy.