SADC waits for Botswana elections’ date

sadc_tomaz-salomaoThe Southern African Development Community (SADC) is waiting for President Ian Khama to announce the date of general elections before deciding the number of its observers for the polls.

SADC executive secretary Dr Tomaz Salomao (pictured) said that they can only deploy observers after the date has been announced. Besides, they need to be invited by the government of Botswana to avail observers for the elections.

He said they will only know the number of observers to deploy and where after the elections date is announced.

“We are willing to bring in observers but for us to start the process, we need the date and an invitation from the government of Botswana.

The date its critical,” Salomao said at a media briefing on the 29th Summit of Heads of State to be held in Democratic Republic of Congo. He stated that other SADC countries that will hold general elections this year are Mozambique and Namibia.

He said the Congo summit will be preceded by meetings of the standing committee of senior officials; finance committee; and the council of ministers to review implementation of decisions.

“The summit will discuss the current political and socio-economic situation in the region with emphasis on the implications of the global economic crisis on the region and the status of agriculture and food security, HIV/AIDS and gender. Summit will, however, also deliberate on other pertinent matters related to the SADC integration agenda,” he said.

Salomao reported progress in countries experiencing political instability such as Malawi, DRC and Zimbabwe. He said that in April SADC made an undertaking to support Zimbabwe’s recovery efforts through direct budget contributions, facilitating lines of credit, helping to lift sanctions and stepping requests for international economic and financial support.

He said the arrest of rebel leader Laurent Nkunda has helped to foster peace in Congo while there is progress in Madagascar after the coup that ousted Marc Ravalomanana from power.

The summit in DRC is expected to discuss preparations for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola and World Cup in South Africa. He said the World Cup is another chance for the region to market its tourism sector.

Mmegi Online

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