The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, says the independence of Mozambique and Zimbabwe would have taken longer to achieve were it not for the visionary leadership of the late Cde Samora Machel.
Cde Mugabe was speaking in Mozambique at the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre, during lectures to mark the 25th commemorations of the death of the former Mozambican leader.
He described Cde Machel as a great revolutionary, resolute and fearless freedom fighter whose role remains legendary in the struggle for independence in Mozambique.
“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.
President Mugabe said he worked closely with Cde Machel since 1977 when they first met in Lusaka, Zambia and were both determined to end colonialism and racism in the region.
“We would not be what we are today were it not for the vision, skills and principles of Cde Machel.
“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.
Former Zambian President Cde Kenneth Kaunda said the continent benefited immensely from Cde Machelâ€™s efforts and contribution to humanity.
The Mozambican President, Cde Armando Guebuza said Mozambique still feels the presence of Cde Machel and has dubbed 2011 as the ‘Samora Machel Year’.
The lectures drew presenters from across the region who spoke on Cde Machelâ€™s life.