Zambia: Zambia, Malawi Resolve Differences
Zambia, Malawi Resolve Differences
PRESIDENT Michael Sata yesterday said the differences he had with Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika have been resolved following the 45-minute meeting he held with Malawi's retired president Bakili Muluzi.
President Sata told journalists at State House in Lusaka yesterday that "by gone is by gone" and was hoping to visit Malawi soon.
Dr Muluzi was present when President Sata briefed the media outside State House about the outcome of their closed-door meeting.
The diplomatic stand-off between Zambia and Malawi arose from a 2007 deportation of President Sata when he was opposition leader.
"The main reason for Dr Muluzi's visit was to reconcile Zambia and Malawi. The president (Muluzi) wants us to forget the incident where I was deported from Malawi. We feel that Zambia and Malawi are bigger than Michael Sata and Bingu Wa Mutharika," President Sata said.
In deciding to bury the hatchet, Mr Sata stated that he had accepted the submission that the two leaders should reconcile.
He said he had given Dr Muluzi a message to deliver to President Wa Mutharika.
Dr Muluzi, who arrived in Zambia on Wednesday for a two-day private visit, had an audience with the Zambian president at State House where he tabled the issue of the stand-off considering that the two countries shared longstanding relations.
Dr Muluzi, who retired as Malawi leader in 2004 after serving his official two five-year terms, said apart from congratulating President Sata on his September victory, he had also come to mourn Dr Levy Mwanawasa and Dr Frederick Chiluba.
Dr Muluzi's visit was private and the programme was not made available to the Zambian media.
Dr Mwanawasa died at the Percy Military Hospital near the French capital, Paris, on 19 August, 2008, two months after suffering a stroke while attending the African Union summit in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Dr Chiluba died of a heart complication in June this year.
President Sata told Dr Muluzi to convey to his Malawian counterpart, a message of goodwill that he had "forgiven what happened in 2007" and finally they have to bury the hatchet.
Dr Muluzi left the country for Malawi yesterday.
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