Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe holds hands with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Laurent Kabila (L) on Kabila's arrival in the capital June 22. Kabila and Mugabe are to hold talks ahead of ceasefire negotiations in Lusaka, Zambia over the conflict in the DRC scheduled to be held June 26. HB

‘DRC has great respect for President Mugabe’

Collen Murahwa Herald Reporter
The Democratic Republic of Congo has great respect for President Mugabe, who continues to champion the empowerment of youths and women, People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) youth leader Mr Patrick Nkanga said yesterday. Mr Nkanga was speaking after paying a courtesy call on Zanu-PF Youth League secretary Cde Kudzai Chipanga to extend his country’s birthday congratulatory message to President Mugabe.

President Mugabe turned 93 on February 21 and the official celebrations were held in Matobo last Saturday.

Mr Nkanga said they had also discussed issues of co-operation with Cde Chipanga.

He said the DRC held President Mugabe in high regard, hence the move to come with their congratulatory message in person. Mr Nkanga was accompanied by PPRD Youth League vice president in charge of security and sport Mr Dada Kababa.

“We felt it necessary to come because Zanu-PF is important to us and President Mugabe is like a father to us,” he said.

“This country is important to the people of DRC. We will never forget. We need to have more exchange programmes with the Zanu-PF Youth League because you are more experienced.”

Cde Chipanga said it was important to exchange notes with youth leagues from liberation movements because of the various challenges being faced on the continent.

“We as Zanu-PF and the people of Zimbabwe value you as brothers, such that we have a brotherhood relationship,” he said.

“We need to exchange notes so that we have one purpose as youth leaders.

“Imperialists do not like us; they are only bent on sucking our resources like what they did in Libya. They are trying to destabilise our governments through the mobilisation of opposition parties to undo our democratically elected governments so that they loot our resources.”

Cde Chipanga castigated Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, who used to lead the African National Congress Youth League.

“The imperialists are trying to infiltrate us as young people,” he said. “Julius Malema used to be a leader of the revolutionary forces, but has gone astray and we are no longer singing from the same hymn book with him.”

Zimbabwe played a major role in the late 1990s in defence of the DRC after it deployed troops under the banner of the SADC Allied Forces to defend that country from invaders led by Rwanda and Uganda.

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