Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
King Letsie III of Lesotho yesterday left Zimbabwe after a four-day State visit and was seen off by President Mugabe at Harare International Airport.
Also present to bid King Letsie III farewell were Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, deputy chief secretary Retired Colonel Christian Katsande, service chiefs and senior Government officials.
King Letsie III was honoured with a salute from the Presidential Guard. President Mugabe handed over two albums with King Letsie III’s pictures from events that he attended and the areas he visited during his stay in Zimbabwe.
The pictures included his arrival on Monday, the State banquet hosted by President Mugabe, as well as his visit to the Heroes Acre, Lion and Cheetah Park, Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences, Victoria Falls, Crocodile Farm and a lunch cruise on the Zambezi River.
An elated King Letsie III took time to view some of the pictures before he left. During his stay, King Letsie III met President Mugabe and held high level talks on various issues concerning relations between the two countries.
He hailed President Mugabe’s wise guidance and astute leadership that brought normalcy to his country when it was facing political instability that spanned over three decades.
King Letsie III said he had come to Zimbabwe to thank President Mugabe for the role he played in Lesotho, which is now enjoying peace and stability.
He said the situation, which prevailed up to the mid-90s, created a lot of tension and instability in the mountainous country and even threatened to bring permanent instability to the institutions of the monarchy.
“Your guidance and leadership in bringing back normalcy, stability and legitimacy to the monarchy and other institutions will never be forgotten by our people,” said King Letsie III.
King Letsie III pledged to work with Zimbabwe to boost the tourism sector and ensure it contributed to the economy of the region. President Mugabe said he was aware that in less than a month, Lesotho would be holding elections to choose parliamentarians and expressed confidence that the polls would be peaceful.
Zimbabwe and Lesotho enjoy cordial relations dating back to the liberation struggle.
Lesotho extended crucial assistance to Zimbabwe during the liberation struggle which saw eminent political figures receiving education in that country.
Zimbabwe and Lesotho are bound together by a common history, similar cultures and strong economic linkages.