SADC ready to work with new Zimbabwean President

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, says the regional body is ready to work Zimbabwe’s incoming President.

“As Zimbabweans enter a new political epoch, SADC stands ready to work closely with the incoming President, his government and the people of Zimbabwe”

Tax’ statement follows the former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe’s decision to step down as the Head of State on Tuesday after a 37-year reign.

SADC said because of his lifetime commitment to serving Zimbabwe and the SADC region, the decision was indeed a bold one.

“This decision will be remembered and cherished by SADC as a clear demonstration of true statesmanship and part of the legacy of President Mugabe.

“Since its formation, SADC has benefited and valued the contribution of President Mugabe, as a true champion of Pan-Africanism, and in the promotion of regional co-operation, development and integration,” said Tax.

Reflecting on Mugabe’s contribution, the regional body said the 93-year-old will be remembered by SADC as an exemplary freedom fighter in the liberation struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence and as one of the founding fathers of SADC.

“As a liberation icon, President Mugabe offered a message of hope and unity to millions of his compatriots when he became the first black Prime Minister of the newly independent Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980,” Tax said.

President Mugabe steered the development and adoption of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015 - 2063). Through the strategy, he envisaged the transformation of SADC economies from being raw resource-dependent, to economies that benefit from value-addition and beneficiation and economies that are technology driven.

During his last visit to the SADC Secretariat headquarters in May 2015, President Mugabe emphasised the need to achieve the SADC vision of a common future for the people of Southern African.

“As we forge ahead, let us all work towards the fulfilment of our vision by building a region in which there will be a high degree of integration and harmonisation,” he said.

Tax said Mugabe’s appeal will continue to drive the region until it attains that common vision.

SADC commended the Zimbabwean people for conducting themselves in a steady, mature and peaceful manner during their robust call for the transfer of power.

“As SADC, we reaffirm our commitment to the African Union Constitutive Act and SADC democratic principles. We are confident that Zimbabwe, as a member to both the African Union and SADC, will continue upholding these principles, while upholding principles enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” said Tax. – SAnews.gov.za

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