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Zanu-PF meets Hichilema's party

by Staff reporter
18 Feb 2022 at 05:31hrs | Views
Zanu-PF and Zambia's ruling party, the United Party for National Development (UPND) led by President Hakainde Hichilema, met this week to exchange notes, and disowned renegades within their rank and file bent on creating animosity between the administrations in Harare and Lusaka.

This came out during a two-day working visit after President Mnangagwa, who is Zanu-PF First Secretary sent a high-powered delegation to meet with the leadership of the UPND.

The meeting was also in line with the universal ruling parties' tradition of constant engagement and consultation.

Zanu-PF's Secretary for Administration Obert Mpofu led the delegation, which comprised the Secretary for External Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and others.

The UPND delegation was led by its national chairman Stephen Matuku, who worked closely with the late national hero Josiah Magama Tongogara during the liberation struggle.

Mpofu said the UPND disowned renegade elements that are fanning non-existent divisions between the two ruling parties.

He described Zimbabwe and Zambia as Siamese twins, that are inseparable, adding that some Zambians have chosen to make Zimbabwe their home and vice versa.

"UPND is in power and Zanu-PF is in power. We are brothers and neighbours. There is no way we cannot relate to one another. The Zambian component of our dialogue was quite clear on the type of relationship that we want to have," said Mpofu.

"We will soon be having their national chairman Matuku coming to pay a courtesy call on our national chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri to further the relationship. We are serious. This is also authorised by our principals."

During the meeting, the officials exchanged their parties' regalia to solidify the relationship.

Mpofu said the two parties will continue to share experiences.

"Through the recently held dialogue, we managed to negotiate strategic entry points for future co-operation. We have also done the same with other fellow Former Liberation Movements (FLMs)," he said.

The two political parties, said Mpofu, also identified various areas of mutual interest especially regarding effective implementation of democracy and good governance values for sustainable nation-building.

"Given our emphasised terms of ideological convergence going forward, Zanu-PF and the UPND will be convening a series of more exchange meetings to explore various strategies of the two parties' shared economic development aspirations in Zimbabwe and Zambia respectively.

"We have agreed to also normalise an increased frequency of high level meetings between our parties. We also agreed not to interfere in each other's internal affairs," he said.

Mpofu said they respect the UPND for being a purely home-grown opposition whose agenda is more internally influenced than it is externally enforced.

"The UPND has no record of inviting external measures to destabilise Zambia's economy. The UPND is not famed for instigating external measures which paralysed the health sector to generate a public outcry for regime change in Zambia."

"The UPND's rise was never influenced by external pressure which compromised the rights of the ordinary men, women and children in Zambia. Therefore, we respect the UPND's legitimacy and integrity to govern and we will be committed to supporting it whenever need continues to arise at any moment.

"It was an honour for Zanu-PF to pay a courtesy visit to its fellow ruling party of Zambia, the UPND. We are grateful to the UPND for their very warm welcome and great hospitality to our delegation," said Mpofu.

This historic exchange of the two parties' was inspired by President Mnangagwa's visit to Zambia on the occasion of President Hichilema's inauguration last year.

Zanu-PF has previously engaged other former ruling parties in Zambia such as the United National Independence Party (UNIP), Patriotic Front (PF) and Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

Source - The Herald
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