SOUTHERN African Development Community (SADC) chairperson Robert Mugabe has saluted Zambia’s First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda (KK) and other revolutionists who worked tirelessly to liberate the Southern African region.
And the people of Mozambique yesterday celebrated their 40th independence yesterday at a colourful ceremony at Machava Stadium.
Mr Mugabe, who is African Union (AU) chairperson and Zimbabwe President, said there was need for the region to join hands in celebrating their achievements together.
He was speaking to journalists yesterday in Maputo, Mozambique after he laid wreaths at the national monument to the Mozambican Heroes as part of Mozambique’s 40th independence celebrations.
Zambia’s Republican President Edgar also laid wreaths at the same monument and attended the independence celebrations at Machava Stadium.
Other Heads of State in attendance during the independence celebrations at the stadium were Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwetwe, Namibian President Hage Geingob, Mr Mugabe and the host Mozambique President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.
The former Presidents in attendance were Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), Joackim Chisanu (Mozambique), Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania), Hifikepunye Pohamba (Namibia), Amarndo Gwebuza (Mozambique), Festus Mohae (Botswana) among others.
After the independence celebrations, Mr Lungu and Heads of States as well as special dignitaries attended the official reception hosted by Mozambique President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi at that country’s Presidential Palace.
“That is why we say together with President KK and other revolutionalists, this is the making of freedom in Southern Africa and the making of freedoms for the rest of the countries in the region.
“But of course we do commemorate Mozambique’s 40th independence also with some sadness that those we worked with the great ones like Edwardo Mondlane and Samora Machel are no longer with us but this is their legacy. Their legacy produced other revolutionary legacies but we are glad that we still have the likes of former Presidents such as Joackim Chisanu, Amarndo Gwebuza and others. That is why as long as we are still alive, we must celebrate together,” Mr Mugabe said.
He said it was a very important day for countries in Southern Africa to celebrate the 40 years of independence in Mozambique.
“This independence speaks quite a lot of other revolutionary histories. It was the making of the independence also of Zimbabwe and making of the independence of Namibia and the coming of political dispensation of South Africa.
“The freedom of Mozambique meant that we now had a country next to us which we can use as a launching pad for our own revolution,” he said.
Mr Mugabe said that country’s independence meant that the people of Mozambique were also joining other countries in Southern Africa in their struggle.
“We commemorate this independence in that perspective. It is our key achievements together and so we say congratulations to the people of Mozambique,” Mr Mugabe said.
Meanwhile, the 40th independence celebrations for Mozambique were held at a colourful ceremony at Machava Stadium.
There was jubilation and a standing ovation when Mozambique President Mr Nyusi arrived in the stadium in a presidential van while waving to the audience.
Later, the National Unity Torch arrived amidst jubilation from all corners of the stadium and President Nuyusi received the torch and later lighted the pyre.
Simultaneous cultural performances were given followed by different exciting security and military parades as well as air show and deployment of paratroopers inside a fully packed stadium.