Lusaka, Zambia: On 26 May 2016, the Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), H.E. Dr Stergomena L. Tax, paid a courtesy call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia. The Executive Secretary met Ambassador Chalwe Lombe, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and officials from the Ministry. Dr Tax confirmed receipt of an invitation from the Government of the Republic of Zambia to observe the country's upcoming Tripartite Elections (Presidential, Parliamentary and Local) which will be held on 11 August 2016.
The Executive Secretary also briefed Ambassador Lombe on the current Pre-election activities SADC is undertaking in preparation for the constitution and deployment of the SADC Election Observation Mission (SEOM) to Zambia. These activities include the Pre-election SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) Goodwill Mission to Zambia scheduled to take place from 5 to 12 June 2016. The objective of the Mission is to engage electoral stakeholders in order to assess the level of preparedness and readiness of the country to hold the said elections. In addition, the SEAC members will also assess the broader socio-political and security environment to determine its conduciveness towards holding of credible elections in conformity with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.Additionally. The Executive Secretary also advised that the SEOM is expected to be launched on 30 July, 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia.
Ambassador Lombe thanked Dr Tax for the brief and assured Government of Zambia's commitment to upholding democratic practices and ensuring adherence to the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections during the forthcoming elections. The Ambassador also presented Dr Tax with the country's new Constitution and noted that among other aspects, it will help to enhance national democratic institutions and values that benefit the country and its citizens.