By Bernard Mutambudzi
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been honoured with the Grand Cross Award in honour of his visit to Guinea during his two-day state visit to that country. He becomes the first ever Zimbabwean President to visit that country.
Speaking after receiving the award yesterday, Mnangagwa said
“It is indeed a great honour to receive the Grand Cross Award on this occasion of my visit to the historic Pan African country of the Republic of Guinea. I receive this esteemed award on behalf of Government and the Republic of Zimbabwe and indeed on my own behalf, with great humility and pride. The Grand Cross Award is a symbol of everlasting friendship and solidarity that exists between our two countries which predate our independence,”
Grand Cross is the highest class in many orders and manifested in its insignia. Exceptionally, the highest class may be referred to as Grand Cordon or equivalent. In other cases, the rank of Grand Cross may come after another even higher rank.
In rare cases, solely the actual insignia is referred to as the "grand cross". In international relations, in many times the class of Grand Cross is typically reserved for royalty, heads of state and equivalent.
Sometimes a holder of the highest class or grade is referred to as "Commander Grand Cross", "Knight Grand Cross" or just "Grand Cross".
In the United Kingdom the rank entails admission to knighthood allowing the recipient to use the honorific "Sir" (male) or "Dame" (female) as a style before his or her name, while entitled "Knight Grand Cross" or "Dame Grand Cross". This stands in contrast to the typical practice in other countries where knighthood is conferred at the initial, lowest rank of the order, typically "Knight.
Former, President Robert Mugabe was conferred with knighthood award when the country attained its independence in 1980.