President leaves for Buhari inauguration

Nduduzo Tshuma – Bulawayo Bureau

\n

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday left Harare to attend the inauguration of Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari in the West African country today.

\n

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be the Acting President.

\n

The President will also attend the swearing in of President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir in Sudan in his capacity as chairperson of the African Union.

\n

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the President had been invited as AU chairperson after the AU observer missions ruled the recent elections in the two countries as free and fair.

\n

“As you know President Mugabe is the chairperson of AU and sadc but in this particular trip, he’s going as chairperson of the AU. We have Nigeria which had elections that were declared free and fair by the AU and other observer missions,” said Cde Mumbengegwi.

\n

“The President was invited to go and participate in the inauguration which is significant in that it serves as a stamp of approval from the AU that the Nigerian elections were held free and fair.”

\n

Minister Mumbengegwi said President Mugabe would also get the opportunity to share ideas and discuss a number of issues with the new Nigerian president.

\n

Buhari beat incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in an election that ushered him into power.

\n

Similarly, Cde Mumbengegwi said, President Mugabe was invited as AU chairperson to Sudan where President Omar Al-Bashir was retained in recent polls. The Sudanese president’s inauguration is expected to be held on Tuesday.

\n

Cde Mumbengegwi said just like Nigeria, the Sudanese elections were declared free and fair by the AU observer mission.

\n

He said President Mugabe would also engage the Sudanese President on a number of issues.

\n

“The two trips are extremely important from the point of view of peace and stability on the continent. Where elections are held and declared free and fair we must come together and celebrate,” said Cde Mumbengegwi