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Organisations and political parties that seek to use violent means to attain power have no place in a democracy and such outfits are unwelcome in Africa, President Mugabe said yesterday.
He said this yesterday in the Zambian capital, Lusaka where he had gone to attend the inauguration of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.
He was delivering an address on behalf of African Heads of State and Government, and leaders of regional bodies that had come to witness the swearing-in ceremony.
President Mugabe said African countries should be free of foreign interference and be able to provide an environment for socio-economic progress for their peoples.
“We say the message, revolutionary message of freedom, of independence without outside interference, should be the message everywhere in Africa now,” he said.
“But that message of freedom and independence can only be enhanced if we maintain democracy in our states, and democratic states are peaceful states.
“Democratic states do not entertain, nor can they be expected to tolerate organisations which are violent, organisations which want to use violent means to get to power. No! And I am glad that in Zambia, all has been peaceful, all has been non-violent,” said President Mugabe.
He said democracy should bring with it opportunities for the people.
“Of course, having a political order which is democratic is one thing. That order must also provide us with opportunities: economic opportunities, socio-economic opportunities, I should say, that cater now for the lives and well-being of our people.
“Hence, we must continue in Sadc, in Comesa, in the African Union, to work together on all those programmes we have decided can assist the well-being of our people. We want our people to be well-developed, to be well-educated. We want our children to be healthy, our people as a whole to be healthy.”
President Mugabe thanked Zambian leaders for recognising one of the continent’s founding fathers, former president Dr Kenneth Kaunda.
He told the crowd about the role played by Dr Kaunda and others such as Botswana’s Sir Seretse Khama, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Ghana’s founding president Kwame Nkrumah in shaping the continent.
“I want to thank in a very particular way, the recognition which is given to our great leader and founder of the Zambian nation, who together with the others like Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Seretse Khama founded the Frontline States, and the Frontline States, which also created an environment and gave us circumstances, as well as lots of assistance in Zimbabwe, in Namibia, in South Africa and later in Angola and also in Mozambique, so we could become free.
“Recognition given to KK (Kenneth Kaunda), we adore him. He is really one of our founding fathers in this region. And when we talk of the OAU as it was established in 1963, the exercise had already begun here of assisting liberation movements.
“But now we talk of the African Union, and the voice of freedom that started here became the voice of freedom sounded by the whole of Africa. KK, God bless you! May you have long life!”
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe and Zambia “have always been Siamese twins” and urged the country to remain united, which was the vision of Dr Kaunda.
“So, there is need for unity, Zambia must remain united. When KK’s voice ran across the rest of Zambia and sounded the message, ‘One Zambia, one nation; One Zambia, one nation’, that lesson, I am sure has guided Zambia for quite a long time now.
“And we have also read it from here that unless we are united as one nation and avoid tribalism, avoid quarrelling, avoid regarding affinities such as religion from dividing us, we will be a good people,” said the President
He praised Zambia for its successes and friendship with its southern neighbour.
“You have had tremendous success, indeed successes over the years, and we admire you Zambia. You are our great friends indeed, our great brothers and sisters. We want you to remain that way, keep the love between you and ourselves. And I want to leave you the message that we are together President Lungu. We are together as brothers, we are together as Zambia and Zimbabwe,” said President Mugabe.
President Mugabe came back yesterday afternoon and was received at the Harare International Airport by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Ministers Sydney Sekeramayi, Kembo Mohadi, Chris Mushohwe, Joram Gumbo; service chiefs and other senior Government officials. Tichaona Zindoga source-chronicle