Mozambique assumes SADC chairmanship

BY Janet Munyaka

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who successfully mediated security issues in the SADC region during his tenure as chairperson of the TROIKA, will hand over the baton to his Botswana counterpart President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi during the 40th SADC Heads of State summit to be held virtually this Monday.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 40th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit will be coordinated virtually from Maputo, Mozambique, with the country assuming the chairmanship of the regional grouping.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador James Manzou said President Mnangagwa as the outgoing Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, will present a report of his tenure which began in August 2019.

“The summit will be held under the theme, “40 Years Building Peace and Security, and Promoting Development and Resilience in the Face of Global Challenges. It will witness the transfer of power from the current chair President John Magufuli of Tanzania to President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique.

“The summit will also witness the transfer of power from President Mnangagwa who is the Chairman of the Organ Troika to President Masisi of Botswana who will lead the organ till August 2021. The summit will also receive a report from President Mnangagwa detailing activities of his tenure. There will be other items on the agenda eg the socio impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the region.”

Spirited attempts by the country’s detractors to have Zimbabwe put on the agenda by painting a crisis in the country were not successful.

A draft Agenda for the SADC Council of Ministers will also be tabled before the full Summit for final deliberations and adoption.

With cases of COVID-19 increasing in the region, member states are expected to come up with mechanisms on how they can cooperate across all structures and levels to curb the spread of the virus.