On 2nd March, 2020, His Excellency Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, received a brief on the political and security situation in the region as presented by the Executive Secretary of SADC Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax.
As the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, His Excellency Mnangagwa is mandated to provide direction in the promotion of peace and security in the SADC region, in accordance with the objectives of the Organ spelt out in the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. These objectives include promoting peace and security across Southern Africa, protecting the region’s people from instability due to the breakdown of law and order, developing a common foreign policy throughout the region, and cooperating on matters related to security and defence.
In briefing the Chairperson of the Organ, the Executive Secretary of SADC indicated that the region remains stable and peaceful, and continues to consolidate democracy as demonstrated a number of peaceful elections which took place since August 2019 when Zimbabwe assumes the Organ Chairpersonship. H.E Dr Tax thanked Zimbabwe for leading SADC Electoral Observation Missions (SEOMs) in the Republics of Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, and Mozambique successfully. She indicated that, some these elections were contested, and dealt with in line with the legal mechanisms of respective countries, demonstrating maturity of democracy in the region.
Notwithstanding peace and stability in the region, in her brief, the SADC Executive Secretary underscored the need for continued efforts, as well as a systematic, and sustainable regional approach to tackle youth unemployment and poverty, which, if not addressed timely, pose a threat to the prevailing peace in the region.
The SADC Executive Secretary also took the opportunity to congratulate H.E. President Mnangagwa and the Government of Zimbabwe for taking positive steps in transforming the Zimbabwean economy to uplift the lives of Zimbabweans. The Executive Secretary also noted the progress on the lifting of sanctions and pledged to continue calling for a complete lift of all forms of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
In receiving the brief, H.E. President Mnangagwa said it was pleasing to note that the SADC region remains peaceful and stable. H.E. President Mnangagwa, pledged his commitment, as Chair of the Organ, to work closely and in consultation with his counterparts in the region to ensure that peace and stability in the region are sustained.
H.E. President Mnangagwa assumed the Chairpersonship of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation in August, 2019 during the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania.