Monday, 10 August 2020

VIRTUAL SADC MEETING WITH REDUCED AGENDA


 The 40th Sadc Summit is expected to start this week, with major highlights being the Council of Ministers meeting followed by a meeting of Heads of State and Government next Monday.

President Mnangagwa is expected to join other leaders for the summit, which will be held virtually owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a draft schedule, the Sadc Council of Ministers, which groups Foreign Ministers, will hold their meeting on Thursday, which will officially adopt the agenda before this is tabled before the full summit on Monday.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo is expected to represent Zimbabwe during the Thursday meeting.

There will be a Troika Summit on Friday, which will be preceded by a meeting of senior officials, led by permanent secretaries, where Zimbabwe will be represented by Ambassador James Manzou, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Today there will be a meeting of the SADC standing committee of senior officials while tomorrow there will be a meeting of the SADC finance committee to adopt the bloc’s budget.

Incoming chairperson of the 16-member regional bloc, Mozambique, will chair the summit. 

“In view of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the summit and preceding meetings will be conducted virtually with a reduced agenda, focusing on the hand-over of the SADC chairpersonship, and critical institutional matters.

“The Republic of Mozambique will host the virtual meetings as the incoming chair of the 16-member regional economic bloc,” reads a statement posted by the bloc on its website.

Some of the issues that will be up for discussion include the political situation in the DRC, where SADC has expressed concern over the continued violence in some parts of the country such as North and South Kivu and the eastern parts.

Last week, President Mnangagwa convened the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation as chair of the Organ where he led the regional bloc in coming up with a peace deal expected to bring stability to the DRC.

The President chaired a virtual Troika Summit that included the Force Intervention Brigade Troops contributing countries (FIB-TCC) and the DRC. The meeting was attended by six SADC Heads of State and Government. 

The SADC Summit comprising all Heads of State and Government is managed on a Troika system that comprises the current SADC chairperson, the incoming chairperson and the immediate past chairperson.

The current SADC Troika comprises Tanzania President Dr John Magufuli as SADC chairperson, his predecessor Namibia President Dr Hage Geingob as the outgoing chairperson and Mozambique President, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, as the incoming chairperson.

President Mnangagwa chairs the Troika’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and comprises himself, President Edgar Lungu of Zambia and Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana. Herald

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