Mozambique President Samora Machel (1933-1986) Speaks to the People, a photo by panafnewswire on Flickr.
Let's work to realise Samora's dream, Sadc told
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 00:00
From Munyaradzi Huni in MAPUTO, Mozambique
PRESIDENT Mugabe says Sadc countries should go beyond paying tribute to Mozambique's former President Samora Machel and work for the realisation of his vision within the region.
Speaking at an International Symposium to mark the 25th Anniversary of the death of President Machel here yesterday, President Mugabe said the Mozambican leader had sacrificed his life for the freedom and independence of the region.
His ideas, the President said, will forever influence the politics of Southern Africa.
"President Samora Moises Machel will remain dearly imbedded in our hearts and minds," said President Mugabe.
"We would not be what we are today were it not for the vision, skills and principles of Cde Machel."
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe's independence would have taken much longer were it not for President Machel.
"The late President Samora Machel was a great revolutionary, a resolute and fearless fighter, military commander an astute politician, above all, a unique diplomat and a noble statesman whose contribution to the fight against colonial subjugation and exploitation will remain legendary," he said.
The President said Cde Machel believed that the boundaries of the liberation struggle extended far beyond Mozambique.
He said he first met Cde Machel in Zambia in 1974 and he "immediately struck me as an astute revolutionary whose resolve to end colonialism was beyond doubt".
The President said Cde Machel's agreement for Frelimo and Zimbabwean forces to jointly fight Portuguese colonialists in Tete gave the later guerilla fighting experience.
He said during the Détente phase of the Zimbabwean struggle, Cde Machel, former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda and the late founding Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere were instrumental in the formation of Zimbabwe People's Army to reignite the liberation struggle.
As a result, Zanu and its military wing Zanla received logistical support from Frelimo.
"We draw profound inspiration and remain eternally grateful for his unwavering conviction and principled stand for the freedom and dignity of the oppressed people of Africa and in other regions of the world,'' said President Mugabe.
He said the Frontline States were instrumental in mobilising moral and material support for liberation movements in Southern Africa and President Machel was a key player.
President Mugabe said Mozambique paid a heavy price for its principled support for the total liberation of Southern Africa.
"President Machel stressed the need for inter-State relations to be based on absolute respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the affairs of other States," he said.
"These are the principles of the United Nations Charter. Despite the hostility of Western countries to independent Mozambique, President Machel found virtue in making more friends and fewer enemies internationally.''
Before President Mugabe spoke, Dr Kaunda warned the West against demonising him.
"Don't demonise Mugabe, he is an angel," he said.
Dr Kaunda explained the bilateral dispute between Zimbabwe and Britain, saying the British Government reneged on the Lancaster House Conference agreement to fund land reforms.
During question time, President Mugabe received a deafening applause after he explained that if President Machel was still alive, he would have said what is happening in Libya is wrong.
Delegates, including President Machel's widow Graca, cheered President Mugabe as he spoke.