President John Pombe Magufuli was a true pan-African who believed in the need for Africa to increase economic cooperation and trade for the benefit of our peoples, President Mnangagwa has said.
In his address to mourners who include a number of African heads of state who are gathered in the capital Dodoma, Tanzania for President John Magufuli’s state funeral ceremony, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe mourns a giant who dedicated his life in the service of his people and the cause of the continent in different capacities.
“On behalf of the government and the people of Zimbabwe and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Madam Janet Magufuli and members of the Magufuli family as well as the “government and the revolutionary people of Tanzania for your sad loss.
We in Zimbabwe mourn with you. We have lost a friend of our country, a dear brother, a comrade, an admirable leader and a man of the people. May you take comfort and solace in the awareness that our prayers are with you, the people of Tanzania,” he said.
He said the late President John Pombe Magufuli established a reputation as a man of action in order to hasten the pace of development for Tanzania.
“He was a leader who led from the front, who was passionate about the welfare of his people and the development and prosperity of Africa as a whole.”
Zimbabwe, he said, was inspired upon learning that Tanzania had attained lower middle-income status, five years ahead of target., describing the feat as one of the many milestones of achievements which are testimony of the astute, incisive and focused leadership of the late John Magufuli.
President Mnangagwa added, “In the SADC, the late president Magufuli was chairperson from August 2019 to August 2020 during which he ably steered the regional ship towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development, increased intra-regional trade and job creation.
“The late President Magufuli was always unwavering on calling for the region to stand together on matters of principle. We the people of Zimbabwe, will always remember him for the pivotal role he played as chairperson in having SADC set aside the 25th of October as a day for the collective call for the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on our country by the Western countries.
“His visionary leadership and legacy will remain anchored in the history of SADC.”
President Mnangagwa explained how in 2019, when Zimbabwe was devastated along with Mozambique and Malawi by Cyclone Idai, Tanzania was the first African country to donate food and medical supplies.
He expressed Zimbabwe’s commitment to increased cooperation with Tanzania.
“I want to assure you Your Excellency, President Samia Suluhu Hassan and the heroic people of the United Republic of Tanzania, of the continued support, solidarity and cooperation of the people of Zimbabwe, as you pursue the dreams and vision you shared with the late departed, President John Magufuli,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa narrated how Tanzania assisted Zimbabwe in opening the first freedom camp during its struggle for political independence.
“The late President Magufuli paid a State visit to Zimbabwe and when he did so, as he did to South Africa, he brought boxes and boxes of books, but he was delighted when I told him Zimbabwe already offers a degree in Swahili at one of our universities.
“Then he asked me whether I had been to Tanzania before. I said the people of Tanzania are a revolutionary people. They gave birth to the independence of the Republic of Zimbabwe. I told him that I came to Tanganyika at the time, in 1963 and we opened our first camp with Frelimo at Bagamoyo. We were only 59 cadres. So, he promised that when I reciprocate his visit to Tanzania, he would allow me to visit Bagamoyo Camp. I am happy to say to you the people of Tanzania, when I came over he did facilitate and I was taken to Bagamoyo Camp when I donated US$60 000.00.
“May his soul rest in eternal peace.”