PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is expected to briefly leave the campaign trail to attend a Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) summit here that will be focusing on sustainable regional industralisation.
With Zimbabwe heading to harmonised elections in a week’s time, Sadc has already dispatched a team of observers led by former Zambian Vice President Nevers Sekwila Mumba.
Although Zimbabwe is not on the agenda, the country has been the talk of the town with observers commenting on the prevailing peace and tranquillity before the polls.
Yesterday, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, who is the current chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, announced the appointment of Mr Mumba. “As xhair of Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, I am pleased to announce Dr Nevers Sekwila Mumba as head of the Sadc Electoral Observation Mission for Zimbabwe’s elections. We’re optimistic of a peaceful and democratic process before, during and after elections in Zimbabwe,” President Hichilema wrote on his X (formerly Twitter) handle.
There are also reports that soon after this summit, the Sadc executive secretary Dr Elias Magosi and his team will also head to Zimbabwe with the other Sadc team having arrived on August 10.
The 43rd Ordinary Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government is themed “Human and financial capital: The key drivers for sustainable industrialisation of the Sadc Region”.
The Summit will be preceded by the Troika Summit of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation on August 16, 2023.
President of Namibia Hage Geingob as the outgoing Chairperson of the Sadc Organ, will also attend the Troika Summit.
The Organ Troika Summit will discuss the political and security situation in the region with a particular focus on the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Mozambique (Sadc Mission in Mozambique) and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Organ Troika Summit will also reflect on the consolidation of democracy in Sadc and deliberate on the socio-economic outlook for the community.
Other activities of the summit include the announcement of the 2022 Sadc Secondary School Essay Competition, the Media Awards, and the presentation of the Medal of Honour to one of the Sadc Founders — the late and first President of the Republic of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama.
The Summit was preceded by the Sadc Council of Ministers meeting on Monday. Today there is a Ministerial Committee meeting of the Organ where Zimbabwe is being represented by Industry and Commence Minister Sekai Nzenza, and Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Jorum Gumbo.