President Emmerson Mnangagwa has arrived in Lusaka, Zambia for the country’s 54th independence anniversary.

He was received at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport by his Zambian counterpart Mr Edgar Lungu.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Zambia Mrs Getrude Takawira was also in the receiving party.

After the sounding of the Zimbabwe national anthem and a 21-gun salute, President Mnangagwa went on to inspect a guard of honour mounted by the Zambian presidential guard, after which there was the Zambian national anthem.

President Mnangagwa is expected to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two sides following the Joint Permanent Commission.

Ministers Joram Gumbo, Joel Biggie Matiza and Sithembiso Nyoni, who travelled ahead of the president’s delegation for the Zimbabwe-Zambia Joint Permanent Commission, were also at hand to greet the President on arrival at the Airport.

President Mnangagwa left Harare earlier in the afternoon today.

Zambia got its independence on the 24th October 1964 under Kenneth Kaunda who had split from ANC Zambia of Harry Kumbula.

Initially Kaunda was secretary general of ANC Zambia and he formed United National Independence Party (UNIP).

He was deputised by Simon Kapepe, who had moved out with him from ANC Zambia with others like Harry Mundiya, Phainas Bulawayo the Winbner brothers to mention but a few.

Kenneth Kaunda and Kamuzu Banda of Malawi were the main agitators against the Federation of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland which culminated in the end of the federation in 1963 and by July the following year Malawi got its independence and in October the same year Zambia also attained its freedom, leaving Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, which was to declare UDI in 1965.

Zambia has some special place in the life of President Mnangagwa.

He joined his father Sekuru Mafidhi in Zambia at the tender age of 12 in 1955 in Mumbwa.

It was in Zambia that young Emmerson became active in politics and joined UNIP Youth League and goes to the Copperbelt as Organising Secretary.

He later returned to Lusaka to be the UNIP Youth League Secretary General under the leadership of former Zambian ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Dingiswayo Banda who was the president.

President Mnangagwa’s other links with Zambia relate to his university education where he attended University of Zambia where he attained his law degree.

It was at the University of Zambia where he met current President Edgar Lungu and several other members of the Zambian judiciary.

It was in Zambia in a law firm owned by former Chief Justice of Zimbabwe Enock Dumbutshena that President Mnangagwa worked where he defended some members of the High Command who had been implicated in the death of first Zanu chairman Hebert Chitepo.