Pretoria — President Mugabe arrived here yesterday to attend a summit of heads of former liberation movements from Southern Africa set for today.
He was welcomed at Waterkloof Air Force Base by the Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa Cde Phelekezela Mphoko.
Former liberation movements attending the meeting are Zanu-PF, ANC of South Africa, Swapo of Namibia, MPLA of Angola, Frelimo of Mozambique and Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania.
The summit would be hosted by the ANC at Freedom Park in Pretoria.
"The purpose of the meeting is for former liberation movements to re-acquaint with one another and to obtain an understanding of the political situations in each participating country," said ANC national spokesperson Jackson Mthembu in a statement.
Secretary generals and other officials from the liberation movements are already meeting in Pretoria in preparation for the summit.
President Mugabe, who is also the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, is today expected to join other invited leaders on the tour of Freedom Park where that country's national heroes are interred.
The leaders are also expected to lay wreaths at Freedom Park in honour of the freedom fighters.
The summit comes amid an onslaught by Western powers to topple former liberation movements through sponsoring puppet political parties and illegal regime change.
The former liberation movements have been holding such meetings since 2008 after the 52nd conference of the ANC decided it was necessary to revitalise and reconvene the meetings. The liberation movements met in Tanzania in 2010 and convened another meeting in Namibia in 2011.
In a communique at the end of their meeting in Namibia, the liberation movements noted that their coming together had its historical basis in the Frontline States, which formed the core of the Southern Africa Development Co-ordination Conference (Sadcc) that later became Sadc.
It was also resolved that the liberation movements collaborate with the African Union and Unesco to establish an African Liberation Heritage, whose ownership would encompass all movements' governments. The liberation movements realise that the region's history is steeped in the common fight against colonial and foreign occupation, hence the need to continue on guard. The liberation movements first came together under the Pan-African Freedom Movement for East, Central and Southern Africa (PAFMECSA) in 1962.
After the formation of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, the continental body, through the Liberation Committee led so astutely by Brigadier Hashim Mbita of Tanzania, took over much of PAFMECSA's work.
In 1980, they formalised the grouping as Sadcc, which transformed into Sadc in 1992.