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Mnangagwa off to Brazil for Lula inauguration; one of two African leaders attending

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By Staff Reporter


PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is among the leaders expected to attend next month’s inauguration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s third inauguration as Brazil’s president.

Brazil’s foreign ministry revealed that the Zimbabwean leader would be among the 17 heads of state attending the January 1, 2023 inauguration in the capital Brasilia.

Mnangagwa will be one of two leaders from mainland Africa attending the event. Angola’s João Lourenço has also been confirmed.

Organisers did not rule out an even larger contingent of heads of state, saying they were “still receiving confirmations”.

Leftist Lula won a tight election contest in October, defeating far right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, in a remarkable political comeback for the country’s first working class president.

A former metalworker born to illiterate farm hands, Lula has been the most central figure in Brazilian politics for four decades, since leading labor union strikes against a military dictatorship in the 1980s and forming the leftist Workers Party.

Lula called his victory a “resurrection” after he was jailed in Brazil’s biggest corruption scandal following his two-term 2003-2010 presidency.