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21 gun salute as Museveni lands in Zimbabwe, Chamisa slams the invite

by Staff reporter
26 Apr 2019 at 07:06hrs | Views
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni jetted into the country yesterday and is today expected to officially open the ongoing 60th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo.

Last night, President Mnangagwa held a dinner reception for the visiting Head of State at State House in Harare.

The ZITF began on Tuesday and is being held under the theme, "Propagating Industrial Growth through Trade and Investment" and will be officially opened around mid day.

The Ugandan leader was met at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by President Mnangagwa, senior Government officials, service chiefs and several African diplomats.

President Museveni was greeted with a 21-gun salute and inspected a Guard of Honour mounted by members of the Presidential Guard. His presence at the annual show adds to the international flair where 16 countries, including Belarus, Botswana, Ethiopia, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Zambia, are participating.

The United States of America has also returned to the ZITF after a three-year absence, a development which observers say is an indicator of Washington's commitment to re-engage with Zimbabwe.

Under the new political order led by President Mnangagwa, the country has been on a re-engagement drive with the international community with a view to attract the much-needed foreign direct investment from across the globe.

Some of the major highlights of this year's trade fair include the ZITF International Business Conference that was held on the Wednesday and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)/ ZITF Original Equipment Manufacturers' Forum held yesterday.

For the first time in the history of the trade fair, all the available exhibitor space has been sold out and special arrangements to accommodate more exhibitors have been made through pitching up tents. Today and tomorrow are public days.

Meanwhile, MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has slammed President Emmerson Mnangagwa for inviting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to officially open this year's Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Friday.

Chamisa was addressing the media at his party's headquarters Wednesday.

"I don't know why Mr Mnangagwa chose Mr Museveni to be in trade with him. We don't know perhaps it's a way of confirming that he belongs to a club of dictators because Mr Museveni's behaviour in his own country leaves a lot to be desired," said the opposition leader.

Museveni, Uganda's sole ruler since 1986, has been accused of rights abuses in his bid to maintain control of the East African country.

Lately, his government has come under fire for arresting firebrand musician Bobi Wine for allegedly failing to comply with safety precautions ahead of a concert he had organised.

Because of that, Chamisa felt the Ugandan strongman's invitation to Zimbabwe was in bad taste.

"The choice of friends defines the man's character and we are worried that Mr Mnangagwa invited Mr Museveni at a time when he is terrorising his own opposition.

"Bobi Wine, my dear friend, is being terrorised. I'm told that he has been arrested. He has been arrested several times. That kind behaviour is not acceptable on the African continent.

"We don't take it lightly whenever dictators come in cahoots or in unison. We have an obligation to fight them.

"We don't take it lightly Mr Museveni coming to our country to just come and grace the trade fair with yet another trade of dictatorship, with yet another trade union of people who oppress their own citizens, an alternative voice of on the continent of Africa.

"…Why should he invite questionable credentials unless you are confirming that you are just calling the boys from the same hood to try and send a particular message on the continent."

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Source - chronicle-newzimbabwe