Africa Moyo in CONAKRY, Guinea
VICE President Kembo Mohadi yesterday joined several African Heads of State and Government and their representatives at the inauguration of Guinea President Alpha Conde, who called for a united and prosperous Africa.
The event started shortly after 1pm (3pm Zimbabwe time), but invited delegates had begun taking their seats as early as 7am.
VP Mohadi arrived at the imposing Mohammed V Palace shortly after 11.30am.
He was in the company of Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Senegal James Maridadi, who also covers Guinea, Mali and The Gambia.
Most businesses were closed yesterday to allow Guineans to follow the proceedings on television and other media platforms from their homes.
At the main entrance to the Mohammed V Palace, security personnel demanded to see Covid-19 negative certificates from all delegates, and face masks.
In his speech after taking the oath of office for the third term, President Conde pledged to listen to the concerns of Guineans and to fight corruption. He also promised to support youths and women.
Critically, he wished for a “united Africa and an Africa which will be a key player in the world”.
In an interview after the inauguration, VP Mohadi said: “I want to congratulate him for the re-election. I think it goes to show the confidence that Guinea Conakry has in him.
“So our (role) is to congratulate him, in fact he is very close to us as we have had the President (Mnangagwa) visit him. Now this is the second high level visit we are having. Actually, it was the President who was invited, but because of other commitments, he couldn’t make it and sent me.”
VP Mohadi wished President Conde success.
“My perspective is that we need to build the regional blocs. If all the blocs come together and integrate through trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area we have come up with, then we become one and from my perspective, we talk about a United States of Africa,” he said.
Chad President Idriss Deby and other leaders or representatives of Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Mali, Mauritania, Togo, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Liberia, Angola, Gabon, South Africa, Uganda and Comoros, attended the inauguration.
VP Mohadi made the most of the inauguration ceremony, as he advanced the re-engagement agenda championed by President Mnangagwa. He met Angolan Vice President, Bornito de Sousa Baltazar Diogo with whom he discussed the need to enhance cooperation.
Already, Zimbabwe and Angola have signed many agreements, but some have not been activated. Said VP Mohadi: “We realise that we are both from Southern Africa, we are both members of SADC, so there is quite a number of issues that we discussed pertaining to SADC.
“We also talked about improving cooperation between the two countries because what we see is not what we want economically or otherwise. We want to enhance the cooperation so we agreed to be meeting more.”
Late on Monday night, VP Mohadi met with Gabon Prime Minister Rose Christiane Raponda and discussed areas for possible cooperation especially economically, in line with President Mnangagwa’s declaration that the economy comes first under his tenure.
He said once Zimbabwe penetrated the Gabonese market, it stood to generate more foreign currency from exports of agricultural products, including beef.