Lovemore Chikova in MAPUTO, Mozambique—
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday met Mozambican President Philipe Nyusi and discussed several issues to do with relations between the two countries. The meeting was held at President Nyusi’s office at State House. Earlier on VP Mphoko had paid a courtesy call on former Mozambican President Armando Guebuza at his offices in central Maputo.
VP Mphoko also met former President Joachim Chissano in a private meeting at his house on Thursday evening. Speaking after separately meeting President Nyusi and Mr Guebuza, VP Mphoko said he was on a special assignment by President Mugabe to meet the Mozambican and ruling Frelimo leaders.
“I had to pay a courtesy call on President Nyusi as part of my special mission,” he said. “I will not discuss the subject of the meetings until I report back. “The meeting was very good and the points we presented were well understood by the President.”
VP Mphoko said apart from meeting President Nyusi, Mr Chissano and Mr Guebuza he had also paid a visit on other Frelimo officials some of whom he used to work closely with when he was posted here during the liberation struggle. “I paid the courtesy calls to touch base with some old friends we worked together with during the liberation war,” he said.
The courtesy call on President Nyusi was discussed when he visited Harare at the end of last month where he opened the Harare Agricultural Show. Later in the day yesterday, VP Mphoko visited the National Mozambican Historical Archives in Maputo where he went through material about the liberation war history of both Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
The material was in both pictorial and book form and captured historic moments such as Zimbabwe’s independence day on April 18, 1980 which was attended by several world leaders including the late Mozambican President Samora Machel. Some of the pictures showed liberation war fighters from both countries in the bush.
VP Mphoko also toured the Mozambican cost line where construction of roads and other projects, which are set to change the face of Mozambique, is taking place. VP Mphoko was accompanied by his wife Laurinda and Zimbabwean ambassador to Mozambique Nicholas Dube.
On Tuesday, VP Mphoko met with Frelimo secretary general Mr Eliseu Joaquim Machava and discussed several issues on relations between the party and Zanu-PF. The meeting was held at the Frelimo headquarters in central Maputo and attended by officials from VP Mphoko’s office and those from Frelimo headquarters.
VP Mphoko has been here since Sunday evening on a special mission assigned by President Mugabe and has so far been interacting with embassy staff and touring their residence. On Monday, VP Mphoko held his first meeting with the embassy staff where he was briefed on various issues.
Zimbabwe and Mozambique share a vast border line with a lot of interaction between the two countries and their citizens. The bond between the two countries grew during the liberation struggle when Mozambique offered rear bases for the liberation war fighters to launch attacks on the racist Ian Smith regime.
The late Mozambican President Samora Machel is held in high esteem in Zimbabwe because of his generosity and hospitality to the liberation war fighters.