via President in Sudan for Al-Bashir swearing-in | The Herald June 2, 2015 by Nduduzo Tshuma in Khartoum, Sudan
PRESIDENT Mugabe arrived here yesterday from Equatorial Guinea to witness the inauguration of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir in a ceremony to be held today.
Al-Bashir was voted to retain the country’s Presidency in the April elections, polling a landslide 94,5 percent of the votes.
The Sudanese elections were endorsed as free and fair and a reflection of the will of the people by the Arab League and the African Union among other observers.
President Mugabe was welcomed at Khartoum International Airport by President Al-Bashir and Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Sudan Hilda Mafudze among other officials.
The two leaders exchanged a warm handshake and embrace before President Mugabe inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Sudanese army.
The AU and Sadc chairperson last Friday led other African leaders in witnessing the swearing in of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the Eagle’s Square in Abuja.
Before leaving Nigeria, President Mugabe met with the country’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo who led the AU observer mission in Sudan.
Obasanjo took advantage of President Mugabe’s presence in Nigeria to share with him his experiences during the Sudanese polls.
Speaking to journalists before leaving Harare last Thursday, Cde Mumbengegwi said the President’s participation in the two countries’ inauguration ceremonies was significant in that it endorses and serves as a stamp of approval from the AU that the Nigerian and Sudanese elections were free and fair.
President Mugabe as AU chair, Cde Mumbengegwi said, would also get the opportunity to share ideas and discuss a number of issues with the new presidents.
“The two trips are extremely important from the point of view of peace and stability on the continent. Where elections are held and declared free and fair, we must come together and celebrate,” said Cde Mumbengegwi.
On Saturday, the President made a two-day stop-over in Equatorial Guinea on a working visit ahead of the African Union Summit in South Africa this month.
The permanent secretary in the ministry of Information Media and Broadcasting Services Cde George Charamba said the President was sampling opinions regarding developments not only on African sub-regional issues, but also on key continental issues including the aspect of representation in international organisations.
Cde Charamba said the two leaders discussed the permanent membership of Africa in the United Nations Security Council.
“The position of Africa is under threat so they are sharing opinions in terms of how to strengthen the Ezulwini Consensus which summarises the African position regarding the restructuring of the United Nations Security Council and this is likely to be a very key issue at the Johannesburg Summit,” said Cde Charamba on Saturday.