Harare (New Ziana) – President Emerson Mnangagwa has assured Zambian President-elect Hakainde Hichilema of his support and cooperation as he takes over the reins of Zimbabwe’s northern neighbour.
Hichilema defeated incumbent Edgar Lungu after securing over 2.8 million votes against Lungu’s 1.8 million.
In his congratulatory message, President Emerson Mnangagwa said Hichilema’s election reflected the confidence and trust that the people of Zambia have in his leadership.
“As you assume your term of office, I wish to assure you of my availability to work closely with you to solidify and deepen the cordial relations that exist between our two sister Republics for the mutual benefit of our two peoples,” he said.
“I also wish to assure you of my readiness to work closely with you at the regional, continental and international levels as we seek to advance the ideals of development, peace and stability.”
President Mnangagwa wished Hichilema well in his new role.
“Let me take this opportunity to wish you personal good health and success in the discharge of the onerous responsibilities of your high office,” he said.
“I have no doubt that you will serve Zambia with distinction for the benefit of all. I look forward to working with you over the coming years for the benefit of both peoples.”
Zimbabwe and Zambia enjoy close relations dating back to the colonial era, when an independent Zambia played host to freedom fighters from Zimbabwe who were fighting the racist settler regime.
After independence, relations continued to blossom both on the political and economic front.
The two countries have over the years implemented joint economic development programmes such as the Batoka Gorge Hydro electric plant being developed downstream of the Victoria Falls and in 2013 jointly hosted the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly.