Southern African leaders have called on the West to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe and support the country’s economic revival programme.Leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), whose annual summit ended in the Namibian capital Windhoek on Saturday, said Western sanctions that have been in place since 2002 are hindering prospects of economic recovery in Zimbabwe.
“Summit urged the international community to lift all sanctions against Zimbabwe and support the Republic of Zimbabwe in its economic and social development efforts,” the leaders said in a communique issued at the end of the summit.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa was elected deputy chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation of the regional body.
Mnangagwa, who is embroiled in an elections dispute at home, will be taking over from the newly elected chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Zambian President Edgar Lungu.
Mnangagwa was declared winner of the July 30 presidential elections after garnering 50.8 percent of the votes against 44.3 percent for his fiercest rival, Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.
Chamisa is challenging the results in the Constitutional Court.
The annual summit that ended in Windhoek on Saturday also called all stakeholders in Zimbabwe “to remain calm while the legal process regarding the outcome of the elections are being considered by the courts, and to respect the will of people of Zimbabwe”.