Zimbabwe scores big at Sadc summit

President Mnangagwa is welcomed by incoming SADC chairperson and Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Luanda, the venue of the 43rd Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State & Government, yesterday (Picture: Presidential Photographer Tawanda Mudimu)

Zimbabwe has been elected as vice chair of the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) after a Heads of State and Government meeting in Angola, which is chair of the regional bloc.

The country has also won the vote of other Sadc countries in its  bid to join the United Nations Security Council for a non-permanent seat from 2027 to 2028.

Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Judith Kateera also took an oath of office after being appointed Deputy Sadc Secretary responsible for corporate affairs.

The 43rd Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government agreed that Zimbabwe will represent the bloc as deputy chair until August 2024 after which it will take over the chairmanship.

Angola took over the chairmanship from Democratic Republic of Congo while Zambia took over the chair of the Sadc Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation from Nambia.

President Mnangagwa said he was grateful for the honour bestowed on Zimbabweans.

“First and foremost I feel happy that Zimbabwe has been honoured with the vice chair of Sadc and we are going to host the next summit in Zimbabwe.

“Besides that, we have discussed contributions by member states and we believe that some of the contributions should be interrogated so that we make it possible for member states to contribute for the smooth operations of the secretariat.

“There are other difficulties that the member states are facing and we agreed to address the issue of the two conflict positions in DRC as well as Mozambique. Thirdly, heads of State wished Zimbabwe a peaceful electoral process,” President Mnangagwa said. 

Acting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Professor Amon Murwira said by being chosen to host the 44th summit, Sadc had recognised Zimbabwe as an important member of the region.

“His Excellency, the President Dr ED Mnangagwa took advantage of the summit to apprise his colleagues of the preparations for the harmonised elections in Zimbabwe on August 23, 2023.

“He assured his colleagues that observer missions have been invited including the EU, AU, Sadc and the Commonwealth among many other observer missions.

“He also extended an invitation to all our Sadc bodies, including the Council of Elders, to come and observe our elections anytime they wished to come and witness Zimbabwe’s democratic electoral processes,” said Prof Murwira.

On Zimbabwe’s endorsement for candidature to UN Security Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Manzou said it was vital that Zimbabwe got the nod from the region.

 “After the endorsement by Sadc, we are now able to approach other bodies, for example the African Union and beyond in terms of seeking support,” he said.

Former Botswana President Ian Khama was presented with a Medal of Honour on behalf of  his father, the late first President of  Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama.

The Summit ran under the theme: “Human and financial capital: The key drivers for sustainable industrialisation of the Sadc Region”.

The theme seeks to address two of the most critical enablers in supporting regional industrialisation which have been identified as adequate human resources and technical capacity.

Meanwhile President Mnangagwa returned home yesterday evening.


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