SADC signs Protocol on Trade and Services
SADC Heads of State and Government attending the regional summit in Victoria Falls have signed the Protocol on Trade and Services.
SADC Chairperson, President Robert Mugabe led other regional leaders in signing the legal instrument that is expected to improve trade and infrastructure development in member states.
The signing ceremony was followed by the swearing in of the SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration, Ms Emily Ayaza Mushobeka.
Ms Mushobeka took an oath of office before Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
After the ceremony, the presidents of Mozambique and Namibia, Armando Guebuza and Hifikepunye Pohamba respectively, were given a chance to bid farewell to the summit as they will be stepping down after elections in their respective countries later this year.
The two will step down after completing two successive terms in office and according to their respective constitutions, they with not be allowed to seek fresh mandates.
President Guebuza said Mozambique will go to the polls on the 15th of October, and he will hand over the baton to his successor who will be elected during the elections.
He thanked SADC Heads for the solidarity and support to Mozambique over the years and urged the bloc to extend the same support to his successor.
He said he is humbled by the assumption of the SADC Chairmanship by Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe, who is the only sitting president from the region to have attended all SADC summits since the first Lusaka meeting on April 1, 1980.
He said the region cherishes Cde Mugabe’s leadership, adding that the bloc continues to grow from strength to strength especially in the strengthening of democracy.
President Guebuza’s Namibian counterpart, President Pohamba also gave his farewell remarks, saying his country has over the years remained committed to the development of Southern Africa and its citizens.
He urged the bloc to continue promoting peace, good governance and the social well-being of its citizens.