“In a very special way, I welcome our dear brother His Excellency Michael Chilufya Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia, to the great COMESA fraternity.
“I am sure the COMESA Authority joins me in congratulating President Sata for his recent victory in the general elections. COMESA, as a family of nations, warmly welcomes you,” Professor wa Mutharika said.
And King Mswati II of Swaziland also congratulated President Sata on his recent victory and commended all Zambians for having held the tripartite elections in a peaceful manner.
“We congratulate President Sata on his victory. We wish the Government of Zambia and its people success in their future endeavours,” he said.
“On this particular occasion, on your behalf your Excellencies, I wish also to congratulate the Government and people of South Sudan for attaining their independence on July 9, 2011 and becoming the 54th member of the African Union (AU),” he said.
AU Commission chairperson Jean Ping also hailed Zambians for holding successful elections and congratulated Mr Sata on his election as Zambia’s fifth President.
Other heads of state who attended the official opening of the COMESA summit were Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza.
President Sata was represented at the summit by Vice-President Guy Scott, who is leading a Zambian delegation in Malawi.
Among those in Dr Scott’s delegation are Minister of Foreign Affairs Chishimba Kambwili, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Bob Sichinga, the latter’s permanent secretary Buleti Nsemukila and senior officials from the Zambia Development Agency.