Mutharika counts on SADC for successful tenure

Outgoing SADC Chairperson and Malawi President Professor Peter Mutharika has handed over the baton to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, saying the success of his five year tenure as Malawi President will draw from SADC’s support and cooperation.

Mutharika addressing SADC summit

Mutharika addressing SADC summit

First lady Mrs Mutharika  (right) with other SADC first ladies

First lady Mrs Mutharika (right) with other SADC first ladies

SADC summit

SADC summit

“I am thus humbled to know I can count on your firm support and solidarity, which have characterized the SADC family,” Mutharika said.

He said this in his maiden speech at the 34th SADC meeting taking place at Elephants Hills Resort Hotel Conference Centre in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

“My deepest sense of humility comes from the fact that in the globalised world, there is nothing much I can do without you.,” he said.

“My Government wishes to reciprocate, by strongly affirming its readiness to cooperate and associate with all member States within the SADC Region, for our mutual sustainable political and economic development,” Mutharika said.

Recently, Malawi commended SADC for playing a key role in the country’s recent elections saying the regional body’s timely interventions contributed to the polls being declared free, fair, credible and transparent.

The country’s tripartite elections, which took place on May 20 this year, were plagued by accusations of vote rigging and other irregularities putting Malawi at high risk of violence and of spiralling into a political crisis that threatened to undermine it’s 20 year democracy.

“My government attaches great importance to the ideals, principles and objectives as agreed by the founders of this organisation, and articulated in the SADC Treaty. Our noble and mammoth task is to translate their vision and aspirations into actual and tangible,” Mutharika said.

He then encouraged SADC to continue working on inter-regional, continental and global issues of mutual interest.

He said by working in unison and not in isolation, SADC will be able to create a critical mass for effective and beneficial outcomes of the negotiations with the development partners.

“You will note that the ultimate goal of SADC is to use regional economic cooperation and integration as a veritable vehicle to achieve inclusive sustainable economic growth and development, as well as eradicate poverty in the SADC region,” Mutharika said.

Mugabe, 90, takes over the rotating chairmanship of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community from Malawian leader .

SADC’s members are South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Angola, Swaziland, Seychelles and theDemocratic Republic of Congo.

Leaders at the regional bloc’s annual summit will discuss how to derive greater benefit from mineral  resources by encouraging local processing. They will also assess progress made toward enhancing economic integration

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