Sadc chair congratulates Zim on polls President Mnangagwa poses for a photo with his Angolan counterpart President Joao Lourenco in New York on Wednesday. — Picture: Joseph Nyadzayo.

Hatred Zenenga in NEW YORK, US

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has met Southern African Development Community chairman and Angola President, João Lourenço, and briefed him about the harmonised general elections held in August.

The two leaders met on Wednesday on the side-lines of the ongoing 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

President Lourenço, who was keen to hear from President Mnangagwa about the elections, took the opportunity to congratulate Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections.

In an interview after the meeting, President Mnangagwa said: “You are aware that we had our elections back home in Zimbabwe and President Lourenço is the current chairman of SADC. “So I was briefing him on the peaceful process before, during and after our general elections in Zimbabwe.

“He was anxious to hear from me, and also congratulated Zimbabwe for these peaceful elections. But of course he had made his statement as chairman of SADC to congratulate us on the conduct of our elections.”

Zimbabwe has been congratulated by many countries and organisations, including United Nations Secretary General Mr Antonio Guterres, for holding peaceful and credible elections on August 23 and 24.

President Mnangagwa won 52,6 percent of the vote, with CCC leader Mr Nelson Chamisa coming second with 44 percent. Eight representatives of smaller political parties got a combined 3,4 percent of the vote.

Efforts to blemish Zimbabwe’s elections by some observer missions, especially the European Union Observer Mission, and opposition political parties mainly the CCC, have come to grief.

It is understood there was a pre-planned grand scheme to tarnish Zimbabwe’s elections allegedly at the instigation of the European Union and the United States, which have been keen to replace ZANU PF with a puppet administration led by Mr Chamisa.

Meanwhile, the bilateral engagement that President Mnangagwa had with President Lourenço was one of many that he has had with other leaders at the UNGA. He also met South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, and President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, among others.

Since November 24, 2017 when President Mnangagwa became the national leader, he has been advancing the engagement and re-engagement agenda aimed at deepening relations with Harare’s friends, while also trying to convince countries that had cut ties with Zimbabwe to re-establish good relations.

Under the mantra, “a friend to all and an enemy to none”, Zimbabwe has mended relations with a number of countries, mainly in Europe. Its relations with SADC countries and those in the African Union have remained rock solid.

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