RB to leave for Congo tomorrow morning

Malawin leader, Bingu Wa Mutharika who left Zambia today (Sunday) wants to be AU chair. He probably lobbied for a vote for RB

Malawian leader, Bingu Wa Mutharika who left Zambia today (Sunday) wants to be AU chair. He probably lobbied for a vote from RB

All is set for the 29th ordinary session of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) summit which officially opens tomorrow (Monday) in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

President Rupiah Banda is to arrive in Kinshasa, the capital city of the DRC, on Monday morning to be among 15 heads of state and governments that will attend the SADC summit.

The Kinshasa summit will discuss among others the prospects of regional integration of SADC countries, the economic crisis and the security situation in the region with a special focus on Madagascar.

The SADC summit will discuss who takes over the chairmanship of the African Union (AU) between Malawi and Lesotho who are bidding.

The chairmanship of the AU, which rotates annually will now be taken over by a SADC member state.

The SADC Leaders are also expected to exchange views on the issues of finances, investment and infrastructure development.

The SADC conference has been preceded by the Council of Ministers meeting which started on September 5 and ended on Sept 6, which discussed several issues including annual subscriptions for member countries and the political situations in the region.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Kabinga Pande, was among other foreign ministers who attended the closed door meeting which also received and adopted a report from experts to be presented to the SADC heads of state and governments during the meeting.

The heads of state and government are also expected to receive reports from former presidents of Mozambique and Botswana, Joachim Chisano and Ketumire Masire on political situations in Madgascar and Lesotho respectively.

During the meeting, the foreign affairs ministers discussed a number of issues ranging from the effects of the global economic crunch through investments to matters of infrastructure and health.

The council of ministers meeting also looked at Zambezi Water Course commission, where SADC member states suggest that all Zambezi water resources should be controlled by SADC, although Zambia is one of the countries that have not yet signed and ratified the proposal.

Other countries that are yet to sign and conceit to the idea include Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania, after which the Zambezi Water Course commission will be operational by the regional body.

The Zambezi Water Course Commission seeks to promote the equitable and reasonable utilization of the water resources of the Zambezi Water Course and the efficient management and sustainable development.

Other issues discussed were the two positions of SADC deputy secretary for administration and finance, and deputy executive secretary integration that have been created, of which Zambia is among the panel of interviewers.

However, the position of deputy executive secretary integration will have to be re-advertised as there is no qualified applicant yet, while three candidates have been short-listed for interviews for the post of deputy executive secretary, administration and finance.

Mr. Pande expressed happiness that Zambia is not in subscription arrears to SADC, although he said there was a little balance which he said would be cleared soon, adding that most of the member countries have cleared the annual subscription fees.

Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili also wants to be AU chair

Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili also wants to be AU chair

At the end of the summit, Congolese President Joseph Kabila will take over the chairmanship of the 15 member bloc from South Africa President Jacob Zuma who is the current chair of SADC.

It is the first time that the war torn vast central African country to host a SADC summit since joining the bloc in September.

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