Nduduzo Tshuma in KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday held a closed-door meeting with his Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) counterpart President Joseph Kabila and briefed him on the transition that led to the resignation of former President Cde Robert Mugabe in November last year.
Emerging from the meeting, President Mnangagwa said he felt “home away from home” after the warm welcome he received.
“I feel home away from home. President Kabila is a brother to me, I am his elder brother, he is younger, but of course he is my elder colleague.
“He has been President for some time, but we are actually family and I am very happy to be here in the DRC and I was briefing my brother about this transition that has taken place in Zimbabwe and committing the new administration to consolidate our already excellent relationship.”
The visit is part of courtesy calls President Mnangagwa is paying to regional leaders to apprise them on the transition that led to the resignation of Cde Mugabe. He has already been to Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa.
Ministers accompanying President Mnangagwa here include Lieutenant General Sibusiso Moyo (Retired) Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Simon Khaya Moyo (Energy and Power Development); Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri (Environment, Water and Climate) and Joram Gumbo (Transport and Infrastructural Development).
The ministers also met their DRC counterparts and discussed various areas of co-operation. President Mnangagwa was received at Ndjili International Airport by DRC Speaker of Parliament Dr Obey Minaku, Advisor to the President Mr Kikaya Bin Karubi, Zimbabwean Ambassador to the DRC Mr Raphael Faranisi, embassy staff and diplomats accredited to the DRC.
After arrival, President Mnangagwa went to pay his respects and laid a wreath at the grave of the late DRC President Laurent Kabila, who was killed in 2001.
He then proceeded to the State House where he inspected a guard of honour before holding a closed door meeting with President Kabila.
The President is also accompanied by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Mr Martin Rushwaya and Presidential spokesperson and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Mr George Charamba, among other senior Government officials. He returns home today.