Let’s celebrate uhuru with Mozambique in mind

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THE upgrading of the relationship to cement the already existing friendship between Mozambique and Zimbabwe on Monday was a fitting reminder of the significant role played by our eastern neighbour in helping us attain our independence.

The timing, on the eve of our independence celebrations on April 18, could not have been more appropriate.

The presence of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, on a State visit, must have triggered nostalgic memories of the liberation struggle. 

The President had fond memories of the friendship established during the liberation struggle while he was in Mozambique.

He recognised the much changed outlook of the then location of their accommodation and the party offices – all pointing to the memorable hospitality of their host.

On Monday, Mozambique and Zimbabwe elevated relations to that of a Bi-National Commission (BNC) chaired by Heads of State from the level of a Permanent Commission, chaired by Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

This upgrading of friendship is only one of the major steps that have helped to establish the symbiotic relationship between these two neighbours.

Long back, the Zimbabwe-Mozambique ties were entrenched through the gun which was used to rid both countries of colonial rule.

While the AK helped us subdue the colonial firepower, a lot of blood was spilt as the colonialists resisted with fearful bravery. 

Thus, the gun and blood became the foundation of the unity between Mozambique and Zimbabwe – what German’s Otto von Bismarck might have called unity cemented by ‘blood and iron’.

As we celebrate our independence on April 18, we must remember that the vast majority of the cadres who liberated this country were hosted by Mozambique.

Also, thousands of those who helped bring about April 18, we are all looking forward to, perished in Mozambique camps at the hands of the colonial regime.

This was so because the artificial boundaries created by colonialists failed to break the cultural ties, including language, that bind us. 

Access to Mozambique was, therefore, straightforward.

This has made our ever growing fraternal friendship to be viewed as sui generis.

After the defeat of the colonialists, both countries decided to turn their guns into ploughshares.

Thus, the high level agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on Monday are meant to enhance bilateral relations in order to uplift the lives of the people.

This has seen trade and investment between the two countries grow in leaps and bounds.

Among other areas of growing co-operation are transport, tourism and defence.

Though we are now independent, there still is interference from countries that don’t like to see the two neighbouring countries flourish.

Zimbabwe is reeling under illegal economic sanctions for giving its people land.

Mozambique is no longer at peace either.

The discovery of vast quantities of gas in that country has seen terrorist organisations trying to destabilise the country.

In these cases of adversities, the friendship between Mozambique and Zimbabwe has remained firm.

Despite the intimidating stance of Uncle Sam, Mozambique has come out unreservedly blaming the illegal sanctions on its neighbour.

As we speak, Zimbabwean soldiers are among SADC forces deployed against terrorists in the Mozambique province of Cabo Delgado.

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