The Ambassador of Republic of Zimbabwe to Botswana His Excellency, Batiraishe Henry Mukonoweshuro, presented his letters of credence to the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, in Gaborone, Botswana, on 19th November 2019.
H.E Ambassador Mukonoweshuro thanked Dr. Tax for the meeting and informed her that one of his key engagements since his arrival in Botswana, was being part of the team of the Head of Mission of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to Botswana General Elections in October 2019, the experience, he said served him well to better appreciate the bilateral relations of Botswana and work done by Zimbabwe as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. Zimbabwe as the current Chairperson of the SADC Organ, is mandated to constitute and lead the SEOM in Member States that are holding elections during its tenure.
The Ambassador also expressed his appreciation to SADC Member States who remain steadfast in calling for the immediate removal of economic sanctions imposed on the Republic of Zimbabwe by the European Union and her allies. He further stated that his major role would be to deepen relations with SADC in order to advance the SADC integration and development agenda.
For her part, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence, congratulated Ambassador Mukonoweshuro for his appointment and welcomed him to SADC. She thanked him for the contribution and leadership that Zimbabwe provided during her tenure as SADC Chairperson in 2014/15 in the development of the SADC Regional Industrialisation Strategy, and the review of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2015 -2020), which put industrialisation at the centre stage. Dr. Tax stated that industrialisation remains SADC's overarching agenda, and emphasised the need to enhance competitiveness, achieve macroeconomic stability, and accelerate infrastructure development in the region so as to facilitate industrialisation.
The Executive Secretary also expressed her gratitude to the Government of Zimbabwe on their outstanding leadership as current Chairperson of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, citing the pivotal role the country played as Head of Mission in the recent elections held in the Republics of Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique and the forth- coming one in Namibia which was launched on 18th November 2019.
Dr. Tax Informed Ambassador Mukonoweshuro that SADC Member States remain resolute on the call for the unconditional removal of sanctions for the Republic of Zimbabwe, further stating that support for ongoing economic reforms in the country remains critical.
Ambassador Mukonoweshuro Batiraishe Henry was accompanied to the meeting by Zimbabwe High Commission, Deputy Ambassador, Ms Margaret Ruparanganda.