In a significant gesture of regional solidarity, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe has been formally invited to attend the inauguration of Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina. This invitation follows the successful election in Madagascar, where President Rajoelina secured a convincing victory with 58.9% of the vote.
The invitation was extended during a meeting at the State House, where a delegation from Madagascar, led by the Mayor of Antananarivo and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Naina Andriantsitohaina, met with President Mnangagwa. The meeting underscored a mutual desire to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
Naina Andriantsitohaina, speaking on behalf of the delegation, conveyed President Rajoelina’s message, highlighting the significance of the upcoming inauguration ceremony and the importance of Zimbabwe’s presence to reinforce the ties between the two nations.
Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU PF, confirmed President Mnangagwa’s attendance at the event in Madagascar. This decision aligns with President Mnangagwa’s advocacy for unity and solidarity among Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states. Emphasizing the shared history, cultural connections, and the necessity for collaborative efforts towards peace, stability, and socio-economic growth, President Mnangagwa reiterated the sentiment of being “one people” with a common purpose.
Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, the national spokesperson for ZANU PF, expressed that President Mnangagwa’s participation in the investiture ceremony is a reflection of the regional solidarity and the collective celebration of democracy within the SADC region.
This development occurs amidst domestic political tensions in Zimbabwe, where the opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change, has challenged the legitimacy of the recent presidential election results, alleging electoral malpractices by the ruling party and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The invitation from Madagascar, a fellow SADC member, could potentially influence the political dynamics in Zimbabwe, particularly concerning the opposition’s call for fresh elections.