East African leaders congratulate new Malawi president

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NAIROBI, June 28 (Xinhua)-- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Sunday sent congratulatory messages to Lazarus Chakwera who was sworn in as the new president of Malawi on winning an election rerun.

Kenyatta said Chakwera's victory is a confirmation of the people of Malawi's desire for progressive leadership that will unite and propel their country to greater heights of development.

Chakwera defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57 percent of the vote in Tuesday's poll which came after the constitutional court in February nullified Mutharika's victory in the May 2019 election, citing vote tampering.

Kenyatta said Kenya and Malawi enjoy warm and historical ties dating back to pre-independence times, facilitated by shared aspirations for growth and development, and a strong Pan-Africanist spirit traced back to the work done by the founding fathers of the two Republics, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

He said the strong bond of friendship, historical bilateral ties and a shared vision for progress should form the bedrock of the renewed Kenya-Malawi relations.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu said in a congratulatory message released by his office that Chakwera's election affirmed the trust and confidence the people of Malawi have in him.

The Zambian leader, who said he was looking forward to working closely with the new leader, underscored the warm and brotherly relations that have existed between the two countries.

The 65-year-old Chakwera took the oath of office on Sunday following his victory in the Tuesday fresh election. Enditem

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