Fidelis Munyoro, Harare Bureau
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Equatorial Guinea counterpart yesterday paid tribute to Africa’s founding fathers who toiled to lay the foundation of a united, free and economically integrated continent.
Speaking to journalists at the Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare shortly before he left for his country yesterday, Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said Africans have a cause to celebrate Africa Day.
President Mbasogo said Africa Day was worth celebrating for uniting the entire continent saying it was important to reflect on the vision of the founding fathers.
“It’s been a wonderful Africa Day because it brought us together one more time and ensure that all African issues are geared towards same objectives to bring Africans together free of the colonial oppression,” said President Mbasogo.
“We are all considering ourselves today as a free continent that is geared towards co-operation development in political, economic, commercial areas and also free completely from subjugations.”
Turning to his two-day visit in the country, President Mbasogo said he had come to meet with the new leadership of the country.
“It was a wonderful visit; one of friendship and co-operation,” he said.
“It has afforded me the opportunity to know the new members of Government and establish a common understanding that will lead us as we share the path of progress in our bilateral relations.”
President Mnangagwa also spoke of Africa Day and paid tribute to the founding fathers saying the continent would continue to celebrate and honour the day.
“We are grateful to the fathers of African Union and we remember their vision for Africa to be united,” he said.
“We will continue to remember and honour Africa Day. It’s historic that the entire African continent must remember this day when our founding fathers came together to create AU.”
He said the Kigali Summit in Rwanda which created the African continental free trade area was part of enhancing the vision espoused by Africa founding fathers for the continent to be united both politically and economically.
“Economic co-operation, this is where Africa is going,” he said.
Earlier on, President Mbasogo met President Mnangagwa at State House for an hour-long closed door meeting and details were not immediately available.
President Mbasogo, who arrived in the country on Wednesday pledged to continue working with the new administration and take existing bilateral ties to new heights.
He said they had come to reinforce already existing bilateral relations which blossomed during the Mr Robert Mugabe-led administration.
President Mbasogo was seen off at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by President Mnangagwa, Vice President General Dr Constantino Chiwenga (Retired) and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo (Retired), Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and high-ranking Government officials.
ZDF deployed military personnel to provide services at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The security personnel contingent, which comprised police, soldiers and intelligence, travelled to Equatorial Guinea at the invitation of President Mbasogo.
Bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea were bolstered in 2004 when Harare foiled an attempted coup by mercenaries to topple President Mbasogo and replace him with exiled opposition leader and Spanish-based Mr Severino Moto.
Zimbabwean security forces arrested British mercenary Simon Mann and 69 others at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport when they landed to pick up weapons, while on their way to overthrow President Mbasogo’s government.