Munyaradzi Huni in Windhoek Namibia—
African Union chairperson President Mugabe yesterday thanked outgoing Namibian President Dr Hifikepunye Pohamba for playing a critical role in the maintenance of peace and stability in the region. President Mugabe, who is also sadc chairman, applauded Dr Pohamba for leaving a united nation. Speaking at a farewell banquet that was hosted here by Dr Pohamba, President Mugabe counselled continued unity.
Dr Pohamba is set to leave office today following the inauguration of the country’s President-elect Dr Hage Geingob at the Independence Stadium today.
The inauguration that will be attended by several Heads of State and Government and former presidents among other dignitaries, will coincide with Namibia’s silver jubilee celebrations.
President Mugabe, who received a thunderous applause from the delegates as he took to the podium, thanked Dr Pohamba for working tirelessly for the promotion of regional integration and development.
The President drew cheers and applause from the delegates when he called Namibia the land of the brave and the land of good food following a sumptuous dinner.
“Namibia made land available to land locked countries, Zimbabwe included to build dry port facilities at Walvis Bay, a gesture that can only come from true brothers and sisters. Indeed the sadc family you (Namibia) have played an exemplary role by the manner in which you steered the sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security. We have worked together harmoniously,” said President Mugabe.
He said Namibia provided principled guidance during conflicts in the region.
President Mugabe said with the nature of the contribution that Dr Pohamba did for Namibia, his legacy would live forever as his predecessors would continue to benefit from his wisdom, experience and sacrifice.
“Your legacy will forever guide those who will walk in your footsteps,” said President Mugabe.
He said Zimbabwe and Namibia had close ties dating back to the days of the liberation struggle adding that this was supposed to continue.
He commended the Namibians for the smooth handing over of power “as if its from brother to another brother.”
President Mugabe, who left Harare yesterday, was welcomed at Hosea Kutako International Airport by Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo, Zimbabwe Embassy officials and several top Namibian government officials.
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko is the Acting President.