Zimbabwe: SB Moyo Lusaka Bound

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo is expected to attend the 21st Ministerial Committee of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation in Lusaka on Friday to discuss the political and security situation in the region.

He will be accompanied by Defence, Security and War veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema and Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said the meeting will be held on Friday after a meeting of senior officials that started yesterday and ends tomorrow.

"Among other issues, top on the agenda of the 21st MCO (Ministerial Committee of the Organ), will be: On Inter-State Politics and Diplomacy, the MCO will discuss the political and security situation in the Region, with particular attention to political developments in the Kingdom of Lesotho," reads the statement.

"The MCO will receive and review reports on elections held in the period between July 2018 and June 2019.

"These include the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. MCO will also take note of the Member States that will hold elections in the second half of 2019, that is, Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique and Namibia; Further, the MCO will review the application by Burundi to become a member of SADC after receiving an assessment report from a Mission that was undertaken from 20 to 24 May 2019. If admitted into SADC, Burundi would be the 17th Member State."

The meeting will also consider security challenges in the region, some of them caused by natural disasters such as cyclones.

"Finally, the MCO will consider security challenges afflicting the region such as tropical cyclones, floods and droughts; ineffective early warning mechanisms; rising threats of terrorism and extremism in the region; cyber-crime; illegal immigration; inefficient border management and poaching," reads the statement.

The next meeting is expected to be hosted by Zimbabwe in June 2020.

Zimbabwe is set to chair the Sadc Organ On politics, Defence and Security Cooperation after the bloc's summit meeting to be held in Tanzania in August this year.

Sadc executive secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax was in Harare last month, where she briefed President Mnangagwa on the country's obligations in guiding the region on issues of politics, security and peace.

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