The Sunday Mail
Deputy News Editor
President Mugabe has paid tribute to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and that country’s ruling African National Congress for supporting Zimbabwe’s governing party, Zanu-PF.
The President said it was telling that the ANC had sent a high level delegation led by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as a show of solidarity with Zanu-PF at the latter’s 16th Annual National People’s Conference in Masvingo last week.
President Mugabe made the remarks as he closed the Conference yesterday.
“We offer our thanks to our comrades, representative of progressive parties especially the ANC and President Zuma for sending us that high-powered delegations that was led by his vice president,” said President Mugabe.
“We thank you for that, thank you for your solidarity and the messages delivered (by the) December 12 (Movement) and Frelimo comrades.”
Frelimo is Mozambique’s ruling party and has had close ties with Zanu-PF for decades, while the December 12 Movement is a solidarity organisation based in the United States which has for years mobilised international understanding of Zimbabwe’s fight for genuine empowerment.
In his solidarity message to the Conference, Cde Ramaphosa said the ANC would continue seeking guidance from Zanu-PF
He said relations between the two parties, which date back to pre-independence era of both nations, were sacred.
“As ANC we envy Zanu-PF and admire the manner in which the party holds its conferences with so many people gathered here, having serious political discussions on important issues that have to do with your own transformation process.
“We also particularly admire the manner in which you continue to defend the gains of the Zimbabwean revolution. We know that at this conference all efforts will be made in finding ways to expand the gains of freedom, development and also to improving the lives of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Cde Ramaphosa said the Conference was a way for liberation movements like Zanu-PF and ANC to show what progress they were making on delivering on promises of development.
He said the Conference reaffirmed the drive by leaders to place the needs of the people above their own.