President takes ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’ to the region President Mnangagwa and President Chakwera tour Mboma Tea Factory on the outskirts of Blantyre, Malawi, yesterday. – Picture: Joseph Nyadzayo

Cletus Mushanawani in BLANTYRE, Malawi

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is taking the “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo/ Ilizw lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo” philosophy to the SADC region where he called for the sharing of challenges and solutions for the region’s development.

Speaking during a media briefing at Sanjika Presidential State House in Blantyre yesterday, at the end of his three-day State visit to Malawi, President Mnangagwa said only locals can develop their nations and can afford to walk with dignity after affording that feat.

“We had a one-on-one chat with my brother (President Lazarus Chakwera) here and we were able to share the challenges we face as the two nations and able to proffer possible solutions to these challenges,” he said. 

“We looked into the areas of agriculture, mining, education and infrastructural development where we shared our vision and how we can improve these areas. 

“We agreed between the two of us that we should utilise the readily available resources to develop our nations and improve our people’s lives. We indeed agreed that ‘Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’. That is the philosophy we must all embrace.”

President Mnangagwa said it was a mistake to admire other people and nations that have built their own countries, while despising one’s home when “you have not built it”. 

“The burden of developing our own country does not lie on other people, but on yourself or ourselves. This is the philosophy we agreed that we should pursue and inculcate it into the younger generation. 

“Once they embrace this philosophy, they will be respected everywhere and will be able to walk with their heads up. If you develop your own country, you can go anywhere in the world with dignity because you know that you are solid. They have theirs and we have ours,” said President Mnangagwa to applause from the audience. 

President Mnangagwa, who was granted the Freedom of the City of Lilongwe, thanked the Malawi leadership for granting him such an honour.

“I want to thank the Mayor of Lilongwe (His Worship, Councillor Richard Banda) for granting me the Freedom of the City of Lilongwe. I really appreciate this gesture. I also want to thank the people of Malawi for their unmatched hospitality and we have learnt a lot which we want to apply when we get back home. 

“I am grateful to President Chakwera for affording me the opportunity to visit the mausoleum of the late founding father of Malawi, the late President Kamuzu Banda. I have told my brother what is in my heart,” he said.  

The Freedom of the City is the highest owner a city can afford someone. The key that is usually handed to the person symbolises the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave the city at will, as a trusted friend of city residents.

Presidents Mnangagwa and Chakwera, who toured the Kapeni area of Soche just outside Blantyre that was badly affected by the devastating Tropical Cyclone Freddy in March, pledged to source more donations for the victims.

“They took me to the Soche disaster site where big rocks fell from the mountain, killing people and destroying infrastructure along the way. We are brothers and sisters and what strikes you, strikes us both, and we will stand by you. 

“We will continue mobilising more resources for the victims, some have come and some are still to come. We have a huge population of Malawians in Zimbabwe and they were granted citizenship by the late former President Mugabe,” said President Mnangagwa.

President Chakwera said words were insufficient to express the joy in his heart for the historic visit of President Mnangagwa and his delegation. 

“In a small space of three days that my Zimbabwean counterpart has been here, he has been to four districts in three regions of our country. 

“He has experienced our potential for tourism, having spent time on the beaches of our beautiful lake as well as touring our tea estates. He has visited one of our monuments where the founding father of this nation, Dr Banda was laid to rest, giving respect to the history of this country.

“On the humanitarian side, he has once again expressed solidarity with us in the time when we are recovering from the effects of a natural disaster in Cyclone Freddy. He joined me in distributing goods to affected families.”

President Chakwera added that they are also pushing for the increase in trade volumes between the two countries, resulting in the signing of Memoranda of Understanding for the cooperation of Zimbabwe and Malawi in economic development. 

“In addition, he has strengthened regional integration by addressing ambassadors of other African States to Malawi as he is a Pan-Africanist at heart, whose desire is to see us as Africans becoming more resilient and self-reliant as evidenced in everything he says. 

“All this was done within 48 hours of his State visit, a testimony of his unfatigued work ethic that is a hallmark of an African liberation champion, something which younger generations can draw inspiration from. He has strengthened the brotherhood between Malawi and Zimbabwe,” said President Chakwera.

President Mnangagwa was later seen off at the Chileka International Airport by President Chakwera, as he headed back home.

He arrived last night and was received at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Cabinet ministers, service chiefs and other senior Government officials.

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