MALAWIAN President Peter Mutharika has paid tribute to Zambia’s first President Kenneth Kaunda’s contribution towards the liberation of the African continent.
And Prof Mutharika has praised Zambia and President Edgar Lungu for inviting him to come and grace this year’s 89th Agriculture and Commercial Show.
Speaking to journalists shortly before departure for Malawi, Prof Mutharika said he was happy to be in Zambia and that he had warmly enjoyed the hospitality of the Zambian people.
Prof Mutharika yesterday laid wreaths at the mausoleums of late presidents Frederick Chiluba, Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Sata at the Embassy Park.
The Malawian Head of State paid tribute the former presidents for their contribution to the democratic governance and economic development of Zambia.
The Malawian President also found time to pay a courtesy call on first president Kenneth Kaunda whom he praised for the role he played in the liberation of a number of countries in the Southern African region.
Prof Mutharika said he had known Dr Kaunda for the last 50 years and he was happy that Zambia’s founding father was in good health.
“I had a very good visit and we had good discussions with my brother President Lungu. I also found time to lay wreaths at the graves of presidents who have passed on and I also visited first president of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda whom I have known for the last 50 years. I had a wonderful time in Zambia,” President Mutharika said.
And ZANIS reports that Professor Mutharika said Dr Kaunda played a pivotal role by committing and sacrificing himself and Zambia in ensuring that countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa were liberated from colonialism.
The Malawian leader told Dr Kaunda that the famous song he coined of Tiyende Pamodzi was being used as a unifying factor across Africa citing Mozambique and his country Malawi where the song was being used to galvanise people for national development.
Prof Mutharika, who was accompanied by his wife Gertrude, Ministers of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs and government officials, was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Dr Kaunda at his residence in State Lodge area in Lusaka.
The Malawian leader, who sought Dr Kaunda’s secret for his health and youthfulness, said that Zambia’s first president was a living testament that there was life after politics.
He commended Dr Kaunda for being the first African leader to fight against the HIV/AIDS scourge on the continent and promoting related health intervention programmes.
Prof Mutharika urged African leaders resisting to leave office to emulate Dr Kaunda whom he said has been support to all successive presidents in their work.
He said he was impressed with the robust infrastructure development taking place in Zambia and that Malawi was trying to emulate Zambia so that his country could attain the middle income nation status by 2020.
President Mutharika further said he was happy with what he saw at the 2015 Agricultural and Commercial Show in Lusaka and instructed his Agriculture Minister Allan Chiyembekeza to ensure that Zambian companies attended Malawi’s trade fair next year.
Earlier, Dr Kaunda said he was elated to receive President Mutharika and his wife Gertrude at his home.
Dr Kaunda described the Malawian leader as a humble man and urged him to embrace God in his presidency and practice love in serving Malawians.