president drc.jpgThe Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, has arrived in Kinshasa, to attend the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 50th Independence celebrations.

 

Cde Mugabe, who left this afternoon was accompanied by the First Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Minister of State Security and Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo.

 

President Mugabe is among the world leaders invited for celebrations to mark the DRC’s 50th independence anniversary.

 

Cde. Mugabe was seen off by the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Cde Webster Shamu, service chiefs and senior government officials.   

Former colonial power, Belgium’s King Albert II, United Nations Secretary-general, Ban ki Moon and South African Vice-President, Kgalema Mothlante, are among the invited guests.

 

Known until 1997 as Zaire, the DRC got its independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960, under the leadership of Patrice Lumumba of the Congolese National Movement and the Alliance de Bakongo, among other nationalist organisations.

 

At independence, Patrice Lumumba became Prime Minister, while Joseph Kasavubu of the Alliance de Bakongo became President.

 

Current DRC leader, Joseph Kabila became President in 2001, after the assassination of his father, Laurent Desire Kabila.

 

DRC’s 50 years of independence have not been an easy road due to constant conflicts, especially in the eastern part of that country.

 

However, hope has been restored in recent years with the country finally embarking on genuine efforts to rebuild one of Africa’s richest mining economy.

 

Zimbabwe and DRC are strong partners in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union and at several international fora.

 

Zimbabwe was among the SADC allies that helped the central African country to fight against invasion by foreign armies of Rwanda and Uganda in the second Congo war which began in August 1998.

 

Meanwhile, Vice President John Nkomo is Acting President.