MALAWIAN President Lazarus Chakwera is expected to arrive in the country today for a two-day State visit.
President Chakwera, who won the Malawi election run-off in June this year, is making his inaugural visit to Zimbabwe with senior officials from his Government already in the country to bolster ties between the two countries.
In an interview yesterday, Malawian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Annie Yauka Kumwenda said President Chakwera was expected to arrive in the country on an official visit this afternoon.
“President Chakwera will be meeting with his brother, his Zimbabwean counterpart President Mnangagwa. Activities will include a brief meeting with the Malawi nationals living in Zimbabwe and laying of wreaths at the Zimbabwe National Heroes Acre,” said Ambassador Kumwenda.
She said a high-powered 26-member delegation led by Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Minister Eisenhower Nduwa Mkaka, is already in Zimbabwe to exchange notes with their counterparts ahead of President Chakwera’s visit.
Zimbabwe and Malawi share a long history of ties dating back to the pre-colonial era.
President Chakwera is on a regional tour following his election and was in Zambia last week ahead of his visit here.
The Malawian President is expected to hold bilateral discussions with his Zimbabwean counterpart, President Mnangagwa. Engagements are likely to centre on possible areas of cooperation and strengthening of the cordial relations that exist between the two countries.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo met Minister Mkaka at his office in Harare on Sunday, setting the stage for President Mnangagwa and his Malawian counterpart, President Chakwera’s expected engagement.
The two ministers discussed various issues that included economic cooperation and the transit of citizens during the Covid-19-induced restrictions to contain the pandemic.
Dr Moyo said: “As a practice within the region, any Head of State emerging out of a successful election normally pays courtesy calls on his colleagues in the region.
“We rekindled a lot of history between Zimbabwe and Malawi. We used to be the same people during the era of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
“This scenario concretises the symbiotic relationship which exists between the two countries,” said Minister Moyo.
“We discussed various forms of cooperation between the two countries, particularly on the economic front and on the political front. We appreciated each other for the manner in which we handled the Covid-19 transiting citizens between our countries.”
It is the desire of the two countries to re-establish a joint permanent commission within the environment of the new normal brought by Covid-19.
Minister Mkaka said they reflected on the long relationship between the two countries and how they could assist each other going forward.
“It has been a great meeting between my counterpart and I, bordering on strengthening the relationship between Malawi and Zimbabwe.
“We have a long relationship that dates back even before we were colonised. We have a lot in common and we have more reason to work together. If we work together, we are going to improve the lives of our people,” said Minister Mkaka.
During his visit in Zimbabwe, President Chakwera is expected to meet SADC ambassadors among other engagements. The two countries share common values, history, and culture and language and along with Zambia, they were once one country under the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.