22 September 2017

Zimbabwe: 'President an African Hero'

Photo: The Herald
President Robert Mugabe (file photo).

Malawian president Professor Peter Mutharika says President Mugabe's rich history makes him the only remaining hero of African nationalism.

He said he always cherished meetings with President Mugabe whom he described him as "the last man standing", adding he learns a lot from the African icon.

President Mugabe and his Malawian counterpart are in New York attending the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, which started on Tuesday.

Speaking after visiting President Mugabe at his hotel, the Malawian leader said Zimbabwe and Malawi shared a long history that will never be forgotten.

"We spoke about Malawi and Zimbabwe. The long history. You know President Mugabe is my brother. Former president of Malawi and myself, we have worked very cordially.

"Zimbabwe and Malawi are almost one country. No conflict, no dispute whatsoever. Hundred percent friendship," said Prof Mutharika.

"I would like to come to Zimbabwe and he also wants to come to Malawi. We spoke about the continued exchange of our visits in the near future," he said.

Turning to his meetings with President Mugabe, he said: "I always learn so much from him. You know he has such a rich history. He is the only remaining hero of African nationalism, the struggle for independence. He is the last man standing. He has such a rich history of Africa.

"Each time I meet him I learn so much. He gives us a perspective of where we have come from. I am always excited to meet him."

The Malawian leader has continued to disappoint the West that was hoping they could use him to strain relations between Malawi and Zimbabwe. Instead, he has spoken openly about his affection for his Zimbabwean counterpart.

After attending the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York two years go, Prof Mutharika spoke about his country's close relations with Zimbabwe.

"We have excellent relations with Zimbabwe. We have never had any problems . . . In the whole African Union I think it is clear that President Mugabe is seen as a real hero you know, when he speaks everyone listens because he has such a rich history of the struggle against colonialism. I think he symbolises that generation of very great African leaders," said the Malawian leader at the time.

Despite efforts to cause divisions between the two countries, the Malawian government has maintained strong ties with Zimbabwe.

When those seeking to cause friction between the two countries planted false stories on social media of bad relations between the two countries, the Government of Malawi responded: "Malawi has no business to dictate to the people of Zimbabwe how they should conduct their affairs. The people of Malawi and those of Zimbabwe are assured that the Government of Malawi remains resolute to its policy of not interfering in internal matters of other countries."

Zimbabwe and Malawi have a rich history dating back to 1963.

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