By Andrew Mkonda, MANA in Harare
The plane carrying President Lazarus Chakwera arrived at Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe at exactly 14:55pm ready for his two-day state visit where he is expected to carry out a number of official engagements.
Accompanied by the First Lady, Madam Monica Chakwera, Chakwera was welcomed by Zimbabwe leader, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and a number of dignitaries including Malawi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eisenhower Mkaka.
Others who welcomed Chakwera included Malawi’s High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, Her Excellency Annie Kumwenda and Major General Sibusiso Moyo (Rtd) — Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
While in Zimbabwe the President is among other things expected to hold bilateral talks with Mnangagwa and to anga he with Southern African Development Committee (SADC) ambassadors and Malawians living in Harare.
He is also expected to lay a wreath at the Heroes’ Acre where prominent people in Zimbabwe such as Sally Mugabe — the first wife of the former President late Robert Mugabe — was buried.
President Chakwera’s trip to Zimbabwe is his second official visit since he took over the office in June this year. He has just recently returned from Zambia.
Mkaka, who arrived in Harare this week ahead of Chakwera, told MANA that the visits to neighbouring countries are aimed at strengthen the bilateral relationship after years of isolation.
“You will agree with me that Malawi as a country, for the past six to seven years, has been inactive in the regional, continental and global activities and we thought we cannot continue living in isolation,” Mkaka had said.
“The President, therefore, needs to connect with his counterparts. He needs to activate the relationship between Malawi and neighbouring countries, continental neighbours and as well as globally,” he said.
Malawi and Zimbabwe share common values, history, culture and language including inter marriages.
Ethel Mutharika, late wife to former Malawi President, late Bingu wa Mutharika, was a Zimbabwean.
Currently, over five million Malawians are living in Zimbabwe and the country declared Chichewa as their fourth official language.