President Hakainde Hichilema has expressed commitment to ensuring the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) as a remedy for development.
President Hichilema noted that as in-coming Chair of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, he takes up the role at a time when Africa is challenged with issues of peace, security and stability.
President Hichilema observed that SADC continues to be fragile in the areas of peace, security and stability, thus diverting attention from the core mandate of governments, which is developing nations.
The President said that taking up a new role, he answers to the call of protecting the people in the region and to better the operating environment.
He said this when he met a team from SADC Secretariat led by the Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs Kula Theletsane at Statehouse.
President Hichilema charged that those who continue to contravene against the peoples constitution are not eligible to serve as they do not understand what it means to dislocate economic activities.
The Head of State noted the need to maintain peace, security and stability in the region to allow individual countries to focus on the development agenda.
He said that resources ought to be channeled towards improving the livelihoods of citizens, which every leader in the region owes to the people they serve.
He explained that as sitting Chairperson, he will priorities on ensuring maintenance of peace, security and stability prevails so as to advance the welfare of people.
And the Head of State paid tribute to his predecessors for providing leadership to the Organ, while hoping to pick up from where they left off but with guidance from the SADC framework
The President added that if need be to do things outside the framework, it will be raised while following the due process for consideration.
“All this is to better what the Organ contributes to individual countries, we want to keep our societies civilised and developing,” President Hichilema stated.
He reiterated the importance of the SADC Organisation, among other regional bodies, towards enhancing the welfare of people.
And Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs Kula Theletsane noted that despite the challenges, the Secretariat will help President Hichilema with required expertise to do his job successfully as Chair of the Organ.
Mr Theletsane implored the President to lead the Organ strategically in dealing with the prevailing challenges of security and diplomacy in regard to the many challenges the region is facing.
He alleged that countries have been scared to hold each other accountable and is hopeful that with President Hichilema’s leadership, that it will be different.