Farirai Machivenyika in MAPUTO, Mozambique
President Mnangagwa yesterday commended African leaders for increasingly respecting the diversity of opinions in their nations, saying this was critical for development.
He said this in an interview after attending the inauguration of Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi at the Independence Square here yesterday.
The President commended President Nyusi for preaching unity in his acceptance speech. In his address, President Nyusi, who is now serving his second and final term, said people should not be afraid of diverse opinions.
“I have always insisted that let us not be afraid of those who think differently. It is in the different thinking where we find alternatives to solve our problems.
“Treaties and agreements are indispensable to settle conflicts, but it is in the respect of those who hold different views where the key for a true reconciliation of Mozambican brothers and sisters is,” said President Nyusi.
President Mnangagwa later said President Nyusi’s sentiments spoke to the thrust adopted by the current crop of African leaders.
“The current crop of leaders in the Sadc region as a whole and to some extent the continent, have embraced the view that we must have everybody on board,” he said.
“Let every African on the continent be proud to be African and be patriotic about their countries. With differences, it is necessary that we can still come to the same table even with those differences; that is the message President Nyusi was speaking about.”
The President urged Mozambicans to resolve their differences peacefully.
The ruling Frelimo party and main opposition party, Renamo, last year signed a comprehensive peace accord that ended decades of acrimony between them.
“But broader than that, he (President Nyusi) says this is the only way stability, development and progress of Africa can be achieved. It can be achieved through patriotism, internally in the country, regionally and on the continent.
“That is the message that we have been preaching in Zimbabwe that we can only grow, develop and modernise in an environment of stability and national unity, but it doesn’t mean people should not differ. People can differ constructively and they continue to be proud of being Zimbabweans,” said President Mnangagwa.
The inauguration of President Nyusi was punctuated by a number of activities, including performances by choral and dance groups to keep the 3 000 invited guests entertained.
People started trooping into the Independence Square early morning and by mid-morning, the venue was full.
The Independence Square is adorned with an imposing statue of Mozambique’s founding president Samora Machel. Straight after taking his oath of office, President Nyusi was honoured with a 21-gun salute. Apart from President Mnangagwa, the presidents of Zambia, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Portugal, Madagascar, Rwanda and the Prime Ministers of Tanzania and Eswatini were also present.