President Emmerson Mnangagwa helped persuade ex-Zambian leader Edgar Lungu to graciously surrender power during the tense period which followed the then incumbent’s humiliating electoral defeat to opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema.
This was said in a statement Sunday by Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu following wide claims the Zimbabwean ruler was miffed by a regional opposition leader and ally to his (Mnangagwa) nemesis, Nelson Chamisa emphatically ascending to power.
There are claims Zanu PF is apprehensive the winds of change in the region which also saw Malawian President Peter Mutharika lose to an opposition leader recently could soon spread to Zimbabwe.
Zanu PF has been at pains to deny it has no issues with opposition parties upstaging ruling parties in the region.
Said Mpofu, “In no ambivalent terms, Zanu PF joins the people of Zambia in honouring and pleading allegiance to the democratic transition which saw the United Party for National Development (UNDP) assuming the terms of power under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema in Zambia.
“From the outset, His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa gave outright support to an absolute constitutional execution of the recent Zambian election.
“To this end, the First Secretary of Zanu PF Cde E.D Mnangagwa was an instrumental arbiter in influencing the then incumbent Cde Edgar Lungu to concede to the winds of change.”
By attending Hichilema’s inauguration August this year, Zanu PF said, Mnangagwa “demonstrated his unquestionable affinity to the election outcome which brought UPND to power”.
Zanu PF said it has “total respect for the sovereignty of other fellow African nations” adding that it “has been consistent in meeting all our diplomatic obligations with the Republic of Zambia with no bias exertions on any Zambia’s Heads of State over the years”
Added Zanu PF, “Our seasoned political experience would never permit us to be narrow preferential sentimentalism on whoever is the President of Zambia or now.”