President in Angola for Lourenco’s inauguration
Kuda Bwititi in LUANDA, Angola
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa arrived here last night to attend the inauguration of re-elected Angolan President João Lourenço today.
The President was received at the Qoatro de Fevereiro International Airport in Luanda by Angola’s External Relations Minister Tete Antonio, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Angola, Retired Major General Dr Thando Madzvamuse and embassy staff.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava and senior Government officials are accompanying the President.
Earlier yesterday afternoon, President Mnangagwa was seen off at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, senior Government officials and service chiefs.
President Lourenco’s party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), romped to victory in elections held on August 24, with 51,17 percent of the vote against closest challenger, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita), led by Mr Adalberto Costa Junior, which had 43,95 percent.
Several Heads of State from around the world are in Angola to attend the inauguration of President Lourenco, who will serve for a second term after his first election in 2017.
The inauguration ceremony will be held at Luanda’s Republic Square.
Sadc has endorsed results of Angola’s elections.
In a statement, the Sadc Electoral Observation Mission described the poll as “peaceful, calm and well organised, which enabled voters to express their democratic will”.
It further noted that political parties were able to campaign freely.
Unita contested the results in court but the application was dismissed by Angola’s Constitutional Court, which upheld the elections as free and fair.
Zimbabwe and Angola enjoy sound bilateral ties as regional counterparts under Sadc.
MPLA is Angola’s liberation movement that led the fight for the country’s independence, attained from Portugal in 1975.
Zanu-PF and MPLA enjoy cordial relations as they share a common history of the liberation struggle.
The MPLA and Unita fought against each other in a protracted civil war from 1975 until 2002, when Angolan troops killed Unita’s rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi.