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President meets Chissano, Indian minister

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President meets Chissano, Indian minister


President Mnangagwa yesterday met former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano at State House in Harare where they reminisced on the olden days in which they held different portfolios in their governments.

Briefing journalists last night, former President Chissano described President Mnangagwa as his close friend from the time he was Mozambican Foreign Affairs Minister up to the time he assumed the Presidency.

“It is my private family visit to President Mnangagwa with whom I met a long time ago when I was Foreign Affairs Minister, and when I was President.

“We were always together when we came to Zimbabwe or when he visited Mozambique. And, we developed a close relationship,” he said.

Former President Chissano said their friendship and interaction had not been as often as it used to be, given the demanding job of President Mnangagwa, but he was keen to revive it.

“So I decided to make things change, that is why I came. Here we exchanged memories of those days, and to see how our countries are moving – discussing issues that are relevant to our countries like the Parks.

“I am at game parks; we have this transfrontier, Zimbabwe is part of it. We spoke about the possibilities of dealing with each other for the development of our countries in my capacity as chairman of the Forum for former Heads of State,” said former President Chissano.

Zimbabwe is a member of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a major, dynamic conservation initiative aimed at supporting sustainable economic development in Africa’s ecotourism.

Former President Chissano played an integral role in its establishment in 2002. Other members are Mozambique and South Africa.

The former President, who is also Chairperson of Joaquim Chissano Foundation, added: “So, it is a free exchange of views.

“Maybe some ideas may come along with our discussion, but I thought we should start from our old times.”

Former President Chissano was Mozambique’s second President from 1986 to 2005.

He took over after the death of the founding leader, President Samora Machel, who perished in 1986 in a plane crash.

Former President Chissano is credited with transforming Mozambique into one of the most successful African democracies after enduring a civil war instigated by Renamo led the late Afonso Dhlakama.

After his retirement, President Chissano became an elder Statesman, envoy and diplomat for both his home country and the United Nations.

Earlier on, President Mnangagwa held a meeting with Minister of State for External and Parliamentary Affairs of India, Mr Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, in which they discussed how to deepen cooperation between the two countries.

Minister Muraleedharan told journalists after the meeting that he briefed President Mnangagwa on various aspects that the two countries could consolidate and further explore, given the warm bilateral relations between them.

“India and Zimbabwe have been supporting each other in various sectors. We have good bilateral trade – very good investment,” he said.

“Indians have high investments in Zimbabwe. We discussed all these aspects, and how to further enhance our relationship, and improve our investment and bilateral trade.

“We discussed how to further enhance the area of health because we are still in the period of Covid-19.”

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava, attended both meetings.

India is one of the countries that have donated Covid-19 vaccines to Zimbabwe due to the cordial relations that exist.

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