PRESIDENT Hifikepunye Pohamba and First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba left for Maputo, Mozambique on Thursday morning to attend the 32nd Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government Summit.
The summit is set to start today and continue until tomorrow. It was preceded by the Council of Ministers’ meeting on Wednesday, where the Minister of External Relations of Angola and outgoing chairperson of the Council of Ministers, George Rebelo Chicoti, was set to hand over the Council’s Chairmanship to Mozambique’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Oldemiro Julio Marques Baloi.
On the agenda for the summit is the crisis in Madagascar, which was sparked when Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina overthrew his rival Marc Ravalomanana with the backing of the military in 2009. The Madagascan government has announced that elections will be held next year, but is opposed to Ravalomanana returning to the country to contest the vote arguing that he is disqualified from doing so because of a criminal conviction.
Also to be discussed is the political crisis in Zimbabwe, which has seen President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), under the leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai, pitted against each other.
Prime Minister Nahas Angula, Minister of Justice Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Minister of Safety and Security Nangolo Mbumba, Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Jerry Ekandjo and Veterans Affairs Minister Dr Nickey Iyambo were some of the senior Government officials who saw the Head of State off at Eros Airport on Thursday. Pohamba and his delegation are expected to return to Namibia on Sunday. - Nampa