BY MOSES MATENGA
The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) yesterday congratulated Zambian President-elect Hakainde Hichilema and thanked his predecessor, Edgar Lungu for graciously accepting defeat and peacefully handing over power to the former opposition leader.
Hichilema, leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND) defeated Lungu in elections held last Thursday.
Lungu, who was seeking a second term in office, accepted defeat and handed over power to Hichilema, saying he respected the Constitution.
“Summit commended the people and the government of the Republic of Zambia, for conducting successful elections and congratulated His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema for winning the elections,” part of the communiqué released yesterday after the Sadc summit held in Malawi read.
“Summit thanked His Excellency Edgar Lungu for his leadership and contribution to Sadc development and integration during his tenure as President of Zambia and for nobly accepting the results of the 2021 presidential elections in Zambia.”
Sadc also said it had received updates on the security situation in Cabo Delgado province in northern part of Mozambique and “commended Sadc member States for pledging personnel and providing financial support towards the deployment of a Sadc standby force to Mozambique”.
The regional bloc also said it was making strides in creating a regional economy.
“Summit reaffirmed Sadc’s position for the creation of the Sadc Central Bank and Monetary Union, as a long-term objective to be premised on fulfilling preconditions that include, the harmonisation of the fiscal and monetary policies of Sadc countries, and greater convergence of banking systems. In this regard, the African Monetary Institute and the African Central Bank should be long-term objectives.”
The grouping also reiterated its call on the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, “and support Zimbabwe in the ongoing socio-economic strengthening efforts”.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa attended the summit.
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