‘Zimbabwe will stand by President Zuma’

Zimbabwe will stand by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma as his political opponents plot to oust him before his term expires, President Mugabe has said.

President Mugabe pointed out that Zanu-PF and South Africa’s African National Congress jointly fought colonialism and would stick together.

President Mugabe said this at the sixth Presidential Youth Interface here yesterday, where tens of thousands of people turned up to hear their Head of State and Government speak.

“Independence, of course, gave us an opportunity of using it now as an instrument to help South Africa, Namibia to get their independence.

“Saka, tese, we still relate to the South Africans. ANC and President Zuma; whatever the South Africans or some from Zimbabwe might say about him, we will just relate to him in a proper way as he is the current President of the ANC.

“It is with the ANC that we have, for a long time, had a partnership. It is that which we continue to relate to; with those either in Zambia, Angola, South Africa. (They) remain our comrades because we were in the same trenches with them.

“So, hatiti zvatakawana Independence, tose hushamwari hwedu hwakapera. Hatidaro. That friendship which we created during the struggle continues to be the friendship we work with in developing our countries and sharing ideas. That’s why there was the creation of the Southern Africa Development Community,” President Mugabe said.

Last Tuesday, President Zuma survived a no-confidence vote, under secret ballot, in South Africa’s parliament.

A total of 177 MPs favoured the motion but 198 opposed it – with nine abstaining – giving President Zuma the right to carry on at the helm of South African politics.

This was the eighth time since 2009 that President Zuma survived an attempt to remove him from office.

Zimbabwe and South Africa share strong political, economic and cultural ties.

In 2016, President Zuma recounted the close ties between Zimbabwe and South Africa to The Sunday Mail.

He said then of President Mugabe, “We have enjoyed a good working relationship since South Africa’s liberation as well. We regard him as an elder statesman in our region and continent who is always ready to provide guidance and leadership when called upon to do so.

“I can define my relationship with President Mugabe as being fraternal, brotherly, and comradely and of extreme importance to both South Africa and Zimbabwe, the region and Africa as a whole.”

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