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Zambia president, Zim DPMs for Reed Dance
By WELCOME DLAMINI - THE SWAZI TIMES-27-Aug-2009
MBABANE – Zambian President Rupiah Banda and Zimbabwe’s two deputy prime ministers are amongst the invited interna-tional guests for this year’s annual Reed Dance (Umhlanga) ceremony.
The Zimbabwe deputy PMs are Arthur Mutambara leader of the break-away Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Thokozani Khuphe, the vice-president of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC.
The scheduled arrival of the three leaders was confirmed by acting Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Clement Mabuza.
“The three leaders are coming to the country after being extended an invitation by the kingdom during the International Smart Partnership Dialogue in Uganda,” Mabuza said. Mabuza said the arrival of the leaders was being handled by his ministry and the King’s Office. The acting PS said the invitation was mainly for the leaders to experience the euphoria of the Reed Dance ceremony.
However, there are strong possibilities that Khuphe may not be able to stay until the main day of the cultural event, which is meant to celebrate the chastity of young girls – who are locally referred to as Imbali yemaSwati. “Khuphe has sent a written correspondence that she may not be able to witness the event’s main day because of other engagements,” Mabuza said.
Another glitch at present is that Mutambara has not yet confirmed his date and time of arrival in the country. Meanwhile, Khuphe is expected in the country this afternoon at around 3:10pm as confirmed by Mabuza, who also revealed that the Zimbabwe deputy PM was expected to be in the country until Sunday.
On the other hand, Banda is expected to jet in tomorrow at around 11:30am and independent information gathered is that the president will also have the opportunity of meeting with locally resident Zambians during his visit.
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