ZAMBIA has praised Malawi for its continued commitment to the tenets of democracy and good governance after the election of Professor Peter Mutharika as that country’s fifth republican President last year.
And President Mutharika paid glowing tribute to Zambia for being the first country to offer assistance to Malawi during the state funeral of his late brother, President Bingu wa Mutharika.
President Edgar Lungu said Zambia and Malawi had demonstrated their passion for peace and stability since their political independence in 1964.
He said the relationship between Zambia and Malawi transcended the common border to the international arena where the two countries had continued to share common views and positions.
President Lungu said the 2014 general elections in Malawi were held in accordance with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.
President Lungu said this on Friday night at the State banquet hosted in honour of Prof Mutharika who is in Zambia for a two day State visit.
“Zambia commends the government of Malawi for its commitment to the tenets of democracy and good governance as was demonstrated in the 2014 tripartite elections which were held in accordance with the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections. Both Zambia and Malawi have demonstrated the passion for peace and stability as exhibited by the peaceful co-existence since we both attained independence,” President Lungu said.
The President said Zambia and Malawi were supportive of international efforts aimed at the peaceful resolution of conflicts on the African continent and elsewhere in the world.
He said Zambia and Malawi had been supporting peaceful conflict resolution through advocacy and support for peace-keeping missions to affected countries in the SADC region and Africa as a whole.
President Lungu stated that there was need for the two countries to continue engaging each other and explore ways of expanding trade and other forms of contacts such as bilateral agreements.
The Head of State explained that it was within the framework of bilateral agreements and the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) that Zambia and Malawi had signed an agreement on the Trans Frontier Conservation Treaty (TFCT) which was meant to preserve and protect wildlife in the national parks of the two neighbouring countries.
He stated that the signing of the treaty would help to boost tourism sectors of both countries which he said would ultimately create employment for the citizens of the two countries.
“It is the desire of my Government that our two countries continue to collaborate in areas of both economic and political interest. Let us continue to speak with one voice on matters of mutual interest as well as take advantage of the framework of international organisations such as the African Union (AU), COMESA, SADC, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth in order to provide leverage and impetus to improve the living standards of our people,” President Lungu said.
And President Mutharika said he was grateful to Zambia for being the first country to offer assistance to Malawi during the state funeral of his late brother, President Bingu wa Mutharika.
Professor Mutharika also said Zambia and Malawi have made strides in the social, economic and political sphere since attaining their independence.
He said his country is in the process of diversifying its economy into mining, and was willing to learn from Zambia.