President Hakainde Hichilema has appointed former Vice President Godfrey Miyanda as the Head of the SADC Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) to the Republic of Madagascar. The appointment comes ahead of Madagascar’s Presidential Elections scheduled for November 16, 2023.
President Hichilema, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation, made the announcement, highlighting the importance of promoting electoral integrity, justice, good governance, and stability in the SADC region.
Article 4 of the Southern African Development Community’s Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections of 2021 mandates that SADC shall observe all general elections held in its member states. This commitment aims to ensure transparency and fairness in the electoral processes of SADC nations.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Stanley Kakubo, expressed confidence in Brigadier General Miyanda’s ability to fulfill the mission’s mandate in accordance with SADC principles and guidelines. He emphasized that the Head of Mission and his team would collaborate with relevant stakeholders in Madagascar, as well as other election observation missions, to contribute to credible, peaceful, free, and fair elections in the country.
Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda, a former Republican Vice-President of Zambia, brings a wealth of experience to the role. His appointment aligns with Zambia’s obligation as the Chair of the SADC Organ to lead the SEOM to Madagascar.
As Head of Mission, Brigadier General Miyanda will work closely with representatives of the SADC Organ Troika, comprising Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Namibia. The mission will operate with the full support and guidance of the SADC Secretariat and the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation assured the nation that the SEOM, under Brigadier General Miyanda’s leadership, will contribute to upholding democratic principles and fostering stability in the SADC region. The mission will play a crucial role in ensuring that Madagascar’s Presidential Elections are conducted in a credible and transparent manner, in line with international standards.