The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax met the leadership of the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC Countries (ECF-SADC) on 19th June 2019 at the SADC Headquarters in Gaborone Botswana. The ECF SADC delegation was led by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Namibia, Honourable Notemba Tjipueja.
Hon. Notemba Tjipueja thanked the SADC Executive Secretary for affording the ECF SADC delegation an opportunity for the meeting. She highlighted the importance of cooperation among the two institutions, the SADC Secretariat and ECF-SADC).
The SADC Executive Secretary welcomed the ECF SADC delegation to the Secretariat. She pointed out that the two institutions were serving the same Member States in the consolidation of democracy, and sustenance of stability in the region, and hence they need to work together is imperative and welcome.
The two parties shared information on elections that took place during 2018 - 2019, and agreed on how best to collaborate in observing the upcoming elections and in helping Member States to ensure that elections in the region are free, fair, and credible. The two parties also agreed to finalize the ongoing review of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Once signed, the MoU will facilitate smooth operationalization of agreed areas of cooperation. The two parties also expressed concern regarding sanctions that have been imposed by the US Government on someIndependent National Electoral Commission (CENI) officials and their families in DRC and the ongoing sanctions on Zimbabwe, which are having negative effects on elections observation in the region, and agreed to work together in voicing out the call for the sanctions to be lifted on both Zimbabwe and the DRC.
Her Excellency Dr. Tax was accompanied by the Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Corporate Affairs, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, the Acting Director of the Organ, Ms. Kealeboga Moruti and the Acting Director of the Policy Planning and Resource Mobilisation Ms. Lerato Moleko.
Hon. Notemba Tjipueja was accompanied by Honourable Justice Abednego Tafa, Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission of Botswana, Honourable Justice Esau Chulu, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, and SADC-ECF Secretariat Staff.