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Monday, August 19, 2013

President Kikwete's handover Speech of Troika-SADC's organ of Politics, Defence and Security

H.E. President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania and the outgoing Chairman of the Troika-SADC (organ of Politics, Defence and Security) in a photo with H.E. Jacob Zuma of South Africa and H.E. President Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo.   The new Chairman of the Troika-SADC (organ of Politics, Defence and Security is Namibia.

Foreign Ministers witnessing the handover ceremony.

The audience during the handover ceremony.

Some traditional dancers entertaining the distinguished guests. 

Some traditional dancers entertaining the Heads of State and Government. 

Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation greets Ambassador Rajabu Gamaha, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.   Left is Hon. Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Foreign Minister of Zimbabwe.

Hon. Membe shares a laughter with his counterpart Hon. Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Foreign Minister from Zimbabwe. 

Hon. Minister Bernard K. Membe (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation gets briefed by Senior Foreign Service Officers Mr. James Bwana and Mr. Bilauri. 

Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah (right), Minister for Foreign Affairs in Namibia in a conversation with Foreign Minister of Zimbabwe, Hon. Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Dr. Tomaz Augusto Salomão, the Executive Secretary for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) exchanges views with Foreign Minister of Zimbabwe, Hon. Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

Tanzania delegation  - from left Acting Permanent Secretary Dr. Likwelile of Ministry of Finance, Deputy Secretary Ambassador Rajabu Gamaha of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ambassador Radhia Msuya, High Commissioner of Tanzania in South Africa and Ambassador Naimi Aziz, new Ambassador of Tanzania in Ethiopia.  

More of Tanzania delegation.

Hon. Foreign Minister Bernard K. Membe (MP) exchanges views with Hon. Arvin Boolell (right), Mauritius Minister of Foreign Affairs.

All photos by Tagie Daisy Mwakawago 


Your Excellency Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi, Chairperson of SADC and our host;
Your Excellency Armando Emilio Guebuza, President of Mozambique and outgoing Chairperson of SADC;
Excellencies Heads of State and Government;
Heads of Delegations;
Honourable Ministers;
Your Excellency, Dr. Tomaz Augusto Salomao, SADC Executive Secretary;
Distinguished Delegates;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
         Allow me to begin by thanking Her Excellency Joyce Banda, President of the friendly Republic of Malawi and the great people of Malawi for the warm reception and gracious hospitality accorded to me and my delegation since our arrival in this beautiful city of Lilongwe.  I congratulate you Madam President on the well deserved election to the Chairmanship of SADC. We trust that under your able hands our regional cooperation organisation will continue to make progress and attain greater heights.

I also thank Your Excellencies for the honour you reposed on me last year to Chair the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.  I have the pleasure to present to you the report of the work of the Troika of the Organ in the past twelve months. Let me hasten to say that it was a very eventful year.  The Troika met a record seven times, probably unprecedented in the history of our organization.  We were obliged to do so because of the demand for action in view of what was happening in the DRC, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.  

     On the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Troika was preoccupied with ending the fighting between the government of DRC and the rebels of the M23.  In this regard, the Troika of the Organ, the SADC Chairperson and the SADC Secretariat worked closely with International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.  As a result of this cooperation our two organizations agreed on a number of things to do together to advance the peace agenda in this troubled member state.  One of the important decisions taken was the creation of the Neutral International Force which later became the Force Intervention Brigade under the United Nation’s – MONUSCO. 

As we may remember several SADC countries volunteered to contribute troops to the Brigade. The United Nations chose three countries South Africa, Malawi and Tanzania to deploy.  South Africa and Tanzania have already deployed, Malawi is in the process of doing so.

         The decision to establish and deploy this Force has not been without its own challenges.  There were voices which   did not favour the idea and worked to oppose it.  After establishment and deployment there are efforts to discredit the Force probably for the purpose of influencing its dissolution or recall of some countries who have deployed or break the morale of the soldiers.

This calls for continued support on the part of SADC and vigilance on the part of the nations which have deployed.  And, for the officers and men of the Force Intervention Brigade they must beware of these unusual circumstances.  Besides discharging their duties with highest levels of professionalism they must exercise and take extra caution because one would not know what is up their sleeves of those who are not happy with their very presence.

     You will recall, Your Excellencies, that at the August 2012 Summit we also agreed on a number of things to do to help our brothers and sisters in the DRC build capacity in various fields.  The idea was to assist them address the challenges they are facing.  I must admit that, the security situation preoccupied most of our energy at the expense of these other important matters.  I appeal to the incoming Chair to give due attention to these outstanding issues.  They are equally and critically important for a peaceful, stable and prosperous DRC now and in future.

Your Excellencies;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
With regard to Madagascar and Zimbabwe, the Troika of the Organ worked in close collaboration with SADC’s very able Mediators. His Excellency Jacob Zuma President of the Republic of South Africa with regard to Zimbabwe and His Excellency Joachim Chissano, former President of Republic of Mozambique with regard to Madagascar. We tirelessly engaged the political stakeholders in both countries and it is encouraging to note that these efforts did not go in vain. A host of challenges were overcome and visible progress has been made.

In Zimbabwe, for example, the constitution making process was successfully concluded. The referendum on the draft Constitution was held on 16th March, 2013 and a new constitution was put in place thereafter.  This paved the way for the harmonized elections of 31 July, 2013 despite the brevity of preparatory time. SADC was able to deploy observers for both the constitutional referendum and elections.  Unlike the last election, this time around the election was peaceful so people had the opportunity to vote freely. 

The SADC Electoral Observer Mission issued its preliminary report to that effect. They deemed the election free and peaceful.  We are anxiously awaiting the final report where they will pronounce themselves on the other aspects of the elections in accordance with the SADC Electoral Observation Guidelines. It is worth mentioning here that the President of Botswana His Excellency Seretse Khama Ian Khama has written to me as Chair of the Troika proposing that SADC undertakes an audit of the Zimbabwe elections to determine its fairness and credibility.  I will leave the matter with the incoming Chair.
We commend the people of Zimbabwe on the peaceful elections.  We congratulate President Robert Mugabe on his re-election and the ZANU-PF on the convincing victory in Parliamentary seats. We commend Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Professor Welshman Ncube and their respective Parties for participating in the elections and on the hard fought campaign and for what they were able to achieve.

We humbly appeal to all parties to remain civil and where there are grievances, legal and constitutional means should be invoked.  We advice against resorting to violence.  It is not in their best interest neither is it in the best interest of the people of Zimbabwe and their great country.  Overall as we congratulate the people of Zimbabwe on the peaceful and orderly elections, we wish them every success going forward. 

         On behalf of the Troika, I would like to call upon this August Assembly to commend the sterling job done by our facilitator on Zimbabwe, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa and officials of his esteemed government who helped him deliver on our promise. Indeed, the road has not been easy.  There were many challenges and, at times the going was rough and tough.  It took the patience and diplomatic skills of the facilitator and his team to achieve what has been achieved thus far.  We owe President Jacob Zuma special acknowledgement, a vote of thanks and big applause.

Madagascar has been very tricky and quite a challenge. However through concerted efforts of the Troika and the SADC Mediator, Former President Joacquim Chissano of Mozambique, commendable progress in the implementation of the Roadmap has been achieved. All institutions of transition have been established and the Amnesty Law was enacted. Preparations for the elections were made, the implementation process was initiated but got stalled because of the problems which had arisen in the intervening period.

  Perhaps the most intriguing challenge we faced was that of leaders and other stakeholders not performing their responsibilities and reneging on promises and commitments they make.  This has been the major cause of reversals as well as delays and slow pace in implementation of the Road Map. 

Among the examples which give credence to my assertion is the way President Andry Rajoelina and Former President Mark Ravalomanana chose not to honour their promise not to contest.  The other is the candidature of President Andry Rajoelina, Mrs. Lalao Ravalomanana and Former President Didier Tatsiraka which were approved contrary to Malagasy Constitution and laws. Both the candidates and the Special Electoral Court decided not to respect the Constitution and law.

The list of things not done as agreed is long. In short, the issue of   Madagascar is unfinished business, hence the Troika and the SADC has to remain seized with the matter.  We must ensure that the parties stick to the Roadmap and implement it to the letter and spirit.  Also they should implement the decisions of SADC, AU, UN and International Contact Group on Madagascar.  We should also push for the reconciliation, particularly, of the main protagonists for the sake of durable peace and stability in Madagascar. 

         Another important milestone that we achieved during my tour of duty was the launching of the Second Edition of the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO II) in November last year. Your Excellencies will agree with me that SIPO remains one of the key frameworks for the SADC regional integration agenda.  It provides SADC with a consistent and comprehensive programme of longterm political, economic, social and security policies.  At the same time it provides SADC Secretariat with a strategic direction and sets priorities for Member States. 

SIPO II has been structured to respond to existing and emerging challenges facing our Region including climate change, unconstitutional change of government, illegal immigration, increase in organized transnational crime, drug and human trafficking, money laundering, illicit mining and maritime piracy.  The good thing about SIPO II is that it has a strong monitoring and evaluation mechanism.  I therefore, appeal to all Member States to support the implementation of this important policy document so as to afford SADC with the opportunity to move forward with unity of purpose and renewed strength.  Let me underscore the obvious fact that the success of SIPO II will depend on each one of us playing his or her part accordingly.  It can be done, play your part!

         During the last twelve months, we also undertook various activities aimed at achieving the broad objectives of the Protocol on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation of the Southern African Development Community.  I am pleased to announce that during this Summit we will witness the launch of the Hashim Mbita Research Publication following the conclusion of Member States’ Chapter. 

Ladies and Gentlemen;
I had the rare opportunity and privilege to work very closely with various institutions established under the Organ I was thrilled and encouraged to learn that we have a formidable institutional set up and a highly motivated staff.  However, we need to do more to build the capacity of these institutions to make them more effective in responding to regional challenges.   Therefore, sufficient funding should be made available to these institutions if we are to achieve the outcomes we all desire.

         It is clear that a lot of ground has been covered over the past twelve months but several challenges still remain ahead of us.  I am confident that with concerted efforts, close cooperation and commitment of all the SADC Member States, our Region will eventually overcome the challenges.  As I hand over the baton to the able hands of my brother, His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic of Namibia, I have no doubt  in my mind that our organization will effectively rise to challenges. I pledge my unqualified   support to our new chair in discharging his new responsibilities. He can count on me and my  colleagues in the government  of the United Republic of Tanzania.  I wish President Hifikepunye Pohamba and the government  of Republic of  Namibia every success in steering the affairs of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen;
         It would be remiss of me if I did not thank our illustrious Executive Secretary, His Excellency Dr. Tomaz Augusto Salomao, his Deputies and the entire team at the SADC Secretariat and indeed our development partners for the support and cooperation rendered to me and my country during our tenure of office.  We are truly indebted to all of them. I know Dr. Tomaz Salomao will leave office at the end of this month. I would like to congratulate and commend him for the wonderful service he has rendered to our esteemed organization.  He has pushed our organization  to greater heights.  We wish him best of luck in his future endeavours.

         It is now my singular honour and pleasure to officially present the Report of the work of the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation for the period of August, 2012 to August, 2013 to the 33rd Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government for your consideration.

         Thank you for your kind attention. Mercy beaucoup, Muite obligado, Zikomo kwa mbili, Asanteni sana.

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