Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
WORLD leaders yesterday congratulated Zimbabwe for attaining 37 years of independence with Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin saying the relations between Harare and Moscow should be strengthened in line with Russia’s thrust to strengthen security and stability in Africa.
The solidarity messages came ahead of today’s 37th independence annivesary celebrations being held under the theme, ‘’[email protected]: Embracing ease of doing business for socio-economic development.”
Zimbabwe became independent on April 18 1980 after a protracted 14-year liberation struggle against the minority Smith regime.
Mr Putin said the relations between Russia and Zimbabwe have traditionally been of a friendly nature and should expand to other spheres.
“Please accept my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Zimbabwe — Independence Day.
“Russian-Zimbabwean relations have traditionally been of a friendly nature.
“I am confident that the further expansion of constructive cooperation in the political, trade and economic, humanitarian and other spheres meet the key interests of the peoples of our countries, goes in line with strengthening security and stability on the African continent.”
Mr Putin wished President Mugabe good health and success as well as the well-being and prosperity to the people of Zimbabwe.
“I wish you good health and success, as well well being and prosperity to all citizens of Zimbabwe,’’ Mr Putin said.
British Ambassador Mrs Catriona Laing said the Queen of England Queen Elizabeth II wished Zimbabwe well on its day of independence.
“The message from Her Majesty the Queen is l send the people of Zimbabwe my congratulations on the celebration of their national day,” she said.
Dean of African diplomats and Democratic Republic of Congo Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Mwawapanga Mwawampanga said; “The people of Zimbabwe should remain steady and united in the challenges they face. The challenges are not peculiar as most countries are facing the same challenges.”
Turning to negative western media, Ambassador Mwawampanga said: “President Mugabe should not lose any sleep. He is a strong leader whom we all look up to.”
Switzerland Ambassador to Zimbabwe and Malawi Mrs Ruth Huber said; “I congratulate the people of Zimbabwe for their 37 anniversary. I give them my best wishes for the future. I hope that the economy and living conditions of all its citizens improve.”
Canada’s Ambassador Mr Kumar Gupta said: “Canada and its people are wishing Zimbabwe the best on its independence day today.”