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ED to head Sadc Troika

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SADC executive secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax has formally briefed President Mnangagwa, who is taking over as chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation at the regional summit slated for August in Tanzania. President Mnangagwa is replacing outgoing chairman and Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

Dr Tax briefed the President at State House in Harare yesterday.
She brushed off MDC-Alliance’s bid to push Sadc to have Zimbabwe on its agenda.

Dr Tax said her visit was for purposes of briefing President Mnangagwa on the obligations of the country in guiding the region on issues of politics, peace and security.

“I am here to brief the President of Zimbabwe. As you are all aware, he is our incoming chairman of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security and that he will be taking over in August 2019,” she said.

“That being the case, he is expected to guide the region in terms of politics, peace and security issues. So, that is my purposes of being here.

“We had a very fruitful meeting. We touched on several issues in terms of what are the obligations of Zimbabwe as the incoming chairperson of the organ, what are the responsibilities, what the issues that need to be followed up.”

Dr Tax said she had a productive meeting with President Mnangagwa and was grateful that she received incredible guidance from the veteran politician.

This year’s Sadc Summit is taking place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on August 17 to 19 when President Mnangagwa will formally take over as the chair of the organ.

In line with Sadc practices, Dr Tax said, a report will be submitted by the current chairperson of the organ, whose contents will be tabled for consideration.

She was, however, not at liberty to give the finer details of the issues to be deliberated during the summit, saying it was premature to talk about the report that is going to be handed over to the incoming chairperson, before he received the document.

During his tenure, President Lungu provided consultative leadership to ensure sustained peace and security in the Sadc region.
The Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation is managed on a Troika basis and is responsible for promoting peace and security in the Sadc region.

It is co-ordinated at the level of Summit, consisting of a chairperson, incoming chairperson and outgoing chairperson, and reports to the Sadc Summit chairperson.

Each time Sadc holds the regional meeting, it has become a propensity for the opposition MDC-Alliance to push the regional bloc to have Zimbabwe on the agenda.

Dr Tax said Sadc had no business to do with opposition politics at its summit.
She had been asked to explain whether Zimbabwe will be put on the agenda since MDC- Alliance had been pushing Sadc to discuss Zimbabwe during the Summit.

“We have procedures, we do not put a member state of Sadc on the agenda just because we are being pushed to do that,” Dr Tax said.

“There are issues we have to consider and I have never received anything from the opposition. Sadc as Sadc has not received anything from the opposition and I cannot discuss about something I have not seen.”

The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation is established under the Sadc Treaty and Article 4 of the Sadc Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security.

It stipulates that the chairperson of the organ, in consultation with the Troika of Sadc, is responsible for the overall policy direction and achievement of the objectives of the organ, of promoting peace and security in the Sadc region. —Herald


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