Columbus Mabika Herald Reporter
As Zimbabwe is set to assume the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Government has pledged to provide consultative leadership to ensure sustained cooperation, peace and security in the region.
President Mnangagwa will formally be the chairperson of the organ during the SADC Summit slated for August 17 to 19 in Tanzania.
In an interview, Defence and War Veterans’ Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said; “As you are aware, we are assuming the chair of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation and this is a strategic role before us particularly this time when there are non-traditional threats affecting the region and at a time when defence has taken key interest into climate change issues as it was not only Zimbabwe that was affected by tropical Cyclone Idai early this year.
“The Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation has a ministerial committee, which is an important organ of SADC and is made up of ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs, Defence, State Security and Public Security.
“The major mandate of ministerial committee, in which I am a member, is to initiate and monitor strategies and programmes that promote peace and security in the region.”
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Zimbabwe remained committed to regional peace, adding that she will consult widely and tap into the experience and knowledge of the outgoing chairperson of the organ and other SADC Heads of State and Government to ensure durable peace and stability in the region.
“Terrorism in the region has become a major cause of concern as being noticed in our sister countries such as Mozambique. As long as they remain with that problem, it also affects us as we are land-linked to them. So it is in the best interest to protect our interests in the region,” she said.
In terms of disaster preparedness, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the region was digesting lessons from Cyclone Idai.