President Hakainde Hichilema held talks with his Malawian counterpart on the sidelines of the 42nd Ordinary Summit of the Southern African Development community (SADC) Heads of State and Government in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) yesterday.
The two Heads of State discussed matters of mutual interest between the two countries, among them the construction of the one-stop border between Zambia and Malawi.
Speaking in an interview after the meeting, President Chakwera said they discussed ways of enhancing cooperation between the two countries.
“We touched on issues to do with our relationship and how we can enhance the same through trade, recently Malawi passed legislation on one-stop border post and so we are talking about commissioning that,” he said.
He also expressed gratitude to the Zambian government for facilitating the transportation of the bodies of three Malawian medical officials who died in Southern Province while travelling to visit the Choma Medical Storage Hub during a benchmarking visit.
President Chakwera pointed out that he has also been following the strides made by President Hichilema in revamping the country’s economy including the fight against corruption.
“Ï am also following the things that he is doing, in terms of socio-economic development, the steps he has taken to ensure that things are on track and fighting corruption,” he said.
And President Hichilema said the discussion with his Malawian counterpart was a brotherly one meant to further strengthen ties between Zambia and Malawi.
He revealed that they further discussed peace and security as a prerequisite to economic development.
“We also talked a little bit about peace, stability and security as a prerequisite to development, economic, social, so we are keen to do things for the better of Zambians and Malawians because we are one,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Southern African Development Community has posthumously honoured the founding fathers of the regional body who include, Dr Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Malawi’s Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Augustino Neto of Angola, and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
Others are Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Samora Michel of Mozambique and King Mosheshe of Lesotho. The rest are Seretse Khama of Botswana and King Sobhuza of Eswatini.
Family members of the fallen heroes received the medals on behalf of the founding fathers.
And presenting the communique to signal the close of the Summit, SADC Executive Secretary, Elias Magosi urged the Kingdom of Lesotho to expedite ongoing reforms, peace and transitional justice, and continue with peace, justice and reconciliation process to bring about national healing.
He pointed out that the Summit received reports on the security situation in the northern part of Mozambique and approved the extension of the SADC Mission in that country.
Mr Magosi said the Summit noted with concern and support for DRC Congo regarding the security situation in the volatile Eastern part of the country.
Further, the Chairperson of the organ has been mandated to engage the United Nations (UN) General Secretary on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly this September to find ways of addressing the security situation in Eastern Congo.
Zambia was applauded for peaceful handover of power during last year’s general elections, and also noted the readiness of Angola and Lesotho to hold their general elections later this year.
The Summit reaffirmed its position of non-alignment to any conflict outside the African Continent and directed that the matter be included in the agenda of the African Union among others.
The Summit was held under the theme, “promoting industrialisation through agro processing, mineral beneficiation and regional value chains for inclusive and resilient economic growth.”
President Hichilema has since returned back to Zambia.