The Sunday Mail
Takunda Maodza recently in Windhoek, Namibia
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been elected Deputy Chairperson of the influential Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation at the regional bloc’s 38th Summit of Heads of State and Government in Namibia.
This is a significant marker in President Mnangagwa’s crusade to end Zimbabwe’s international isolation and make the nation a meaningful contributor on the international arena.
President Mnangagwa deputises Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu, who took over Chairmanship of the Organ from Angola’s President Joao Manuel Lourenco.
Sadc made the announcement in a communique at the end of the summit.
Namibia’s President Dr Hage Geingob was elevated to Sadc Chairperson, with his deputy being Tanzania’s President John Magufuli.
Reads the communique: “Summit elected HE Dr Hage G Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia as Chairperson of Sadc, and HE Dr John Pombe Magafuli, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, as incoming Chairperson of Sadc.
“Summit also elected HE Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the President of Zambia as Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, and HE Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe as incoming Chairperson of the Organ.”
The bloc also congratulated Angola and Zimbabwe for holding elections.
“Summit congratulated members states that held elections since the last Summit in August 2017, namely the Republic of Angola and the Republic of Zimbabwe, and congratulated His Excellency President Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco and the Movement for Popular Liberation of Angola (MPLA) party for winning the elections and called upon all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to remain calm while the legal process regarding the outcomes of the elections are being considered by the courts.”
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared President Mnangagwa winner of the July 30 Presidential elections, while his Zanu-PF party secured a two-thirds Parliamentary majority.
One opposition party has since challenged the electoral outcome and the matter will be heard in the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo told journalists yesterday that President Mnangagwa’s election as Sadc Organ Deputy Chair was unanimous.
“Coming to the very important Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, which is the busiest within the region, Zambia has been the deputy and it was confirmed that it is now taking over as the Chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security; and the chair in waiting, who is the deputy, in this case Zimbabwe, was elected to take up that post.
“It was very unanimous. In fact, everybody was excited that Zimbabwe is coming back to the international fold and to the family of nations and that it is an important player which can actually contribute to the stability of the region both politically and security wise, with all the issues coming in place like elections in South Africa, elections in Mozambique, elections in Botswana, elections in Malawi, elections in the DRC, elections in Madagascar and all these others.
“These are going to be taking place under the auspices of Zambia and Zimbabwe and already the existing flashpoints like Lesotho and Madagascar,” said Dr Moyo.
President Mnangagwa returned home yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean pupil, Primrose Tshuma of John Tallach High School in Matabeleland North, who won second prize in the Sadc Essay Competition got a double delight as President Mnangagwa gave her his scarf as a token of thanks for her prize-winning efforts.