THE PRESIDENT BETWEEN THE PRESIDENTS

By Curtis Lloyd

While the photo may tell multiple stories, what catches my eye is the man, President Joaquim Alberto Chissano, Second President of Mozambique. His consistency in shouldering Zambia ought to be unpacked, and documented.

That’s the same bench he sat on last year during the funeral service of Zambia’s founding President, Dr Kenneth David Kaunda. This time around, he was participating in the sending off ceremony of President Rupiah Bwezani Banda, Zambia’s fourth republican President.

There is obvious some deep rooted reasons as to why he loves Zambia so much. My guess below.!

A little dive into history reminds us of the troubles in Mozambique. Mr. Chissano was a founding member of The Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO). It is through FRELIMO that Mr Chissano played a significant role to map the liberation footprint of Mozambique.

He was chief Negotiator at the ‘Acodo de Lusaka’, or the Lusaka Accord in 1974 which saw the Portuguese Government formally recognise the fact that Mozambique was capable of governing itself.

On September 7th 1974, the Lusaka Accord was thus signed, plotting the transition period which subsequently culminated into Mozambique’s independence on June 25th 1975, about nine months later.

At independence, a gentleman, socialist in the tradition of Marxism–Leninism named Somora Machel became President of Mozambique, with Joaquim Alberto Chissano being appointed Foreign Affairs Minister.

Sadly though, on October 19th, 1986, in the mountainous terrain of Mbuzini, South Africa, the plane carrying President Somora Machel crashed, claiming his (Samora Machel’s) life as well as the lives of twenty four others on board.

Mr Joaquim Alberto Chissano thereafter took over as President after being elected into office in 1986. It suffices to mention, (for the sake of history) that the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of FRELIMO was acting in managing the affairs of the country before Mr Chissano was officially ushered in.

It was during the reign of Mr. Chissano that the Guerra Civil Moçambicana (Mozambique Civil War) came to an end as he successfully managed to negotiate with the rabel movements, the biggest of them being RENAMO led by Afonso Dhlakama.

It is that direct facilitation, hosting as well as constant engagements by Zambia in general, and KK in particular which is highly esteemed by the people of Mozambique. Zambia embraced these neighboring countries as a big brother would.

Seeing Mr. Joaquim Alberto Chissano step onto the Zambian soils is not political gymnastics. It goes beyond predictable protocols, and by far stretches beyond comforting the bereaved.

It is a strong statement of how great a nation Zambia is, and how for years, has demonstrated that peace and coexistence are actually possible.

Thank you President Joaquim Alberto Chissano..!!!

📸 Chellah

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