THE sitting President of Mozambique and leader of FRELIMO is Filipe Nyusi and his historic State visit to Zimbabwe shows the excellent relations enjoyed by both countries before and after independence.
We at The Patriot have always said that historically the people of Zimbabwe and Mozambique are one.
To date we have many Zimbabweans whose origins can be traced back to Mozambique.
Our ties date back to pre-colonial times as we were all part of the Munhumutapa Empire.
And we later fought side-by-side to dislodge white minority rule in our respective countries with Mozambique attaining independence on June 25 1975 and Zimbabwe on April 18 1980.
Mozambique’s FRELIMO and Zimbabwe’s ZANU and ZIPRA were more-or-less one entity whose main objective was to defeat the white settler-regime.
Therefore, it is imperative to appreciate the unconditional love we got from Mozambique as she never let us down even after attaining independence in 1975.
And Mozambique’s first President Samora Machel’s words must forever be engraved in the hearts and minds of all Zimbabweans.
He was the wise man from the East who fought for the emancipation of black people without fear or favour.
He was a revolutionary who saw it fit to stand by Zimbabwe by all means necessary.
Unfortunately, he was assassinated six years after Zimbabwe gained independence (October 19 1986), but his legacy remains, not only in Mozambique, but in Zimbabwe too.
That is why, in Zimbabwe, we have a major road named after him, and it is in that road we erected the statue of our liberation icon Mbuya Nehanda.
That is why, soon and very soon, we shall have Machel’s liberation monument in Zimbabwe because there is every reason for him to be immortalised.
The following is what Machel said in 1974: “Some of us when we look at the situation in Mozambique, we realise if we liberate Mozambique tomorrow that will not be the end. The liberation of Mozambique without the liberation of Zimbabwe is meaningless.”
He was right.
Mozambique is the comrade-in-arms who would never let us down.
That is why thousands of Zimbabweans crossed the border into Mozambique, especially after 1975, to join the liberation war.
We now had a neighbour we could use as a launch-pad for our struggle for independence.
That is why we established schools in the struggle there.
That is why we had so many training and refugee camps there.
We had Chimoio, Tembwe, Nyadzonia, Doiroi, Chibawawa and Pasichigare, among others. This, however, came at a cost.
Rhodesians, having realised the impact of Mozambique in Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence, resorted to genocide as they targeted numerous camps holding Zimbabweans.
They killed thousands at Chimoio and Nyadzonia, among other camps, but this did not derail the liberation war.
To date, we have brothers and sisters, children, fathers and mothers, and many other cadres interred in numerous shrines in Mozambique.
They lie in marked and unmarked graves there and we go there regularly to pay homage because their efforts were not in vain.
That is why it is important for us to cement our relations with Mozambique and that is why it is crucial to explain to our children the bond we cherish with our neighbour.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa could not have put it any better that there is a bond of blood between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
“There is a bond of blood between the two Republics, and this is what we must keep as a legacy from one generation to another,” he said.
“This State visit is a demonstration of that bond.
We are doing our best to promote synergies, in particular in the area of economic cooperation so that we can assist each other in developing our respective economies.”