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SADC to honour Robert Mugabe, 8 other founding leaders

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will honour Zimbabwe’s first republican President, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, for his legacy of fighting to end colonialism and apartheid in the region.

ZANIS reports that SADC Chairperson, who is also President of Malawi, Lazarous Chakwera, said Mugabe will be honoured alongside eight other founders of SADC by constructing a modern museum at the regional bloc’s secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana, for their critical role in the attainment of political freedom for the region.

The eight other founders include Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, Mozambique’s Samora Machel, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola, Sir Ketumile Masire of Botswana, Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda and leaders of Eswatini, Lesotho and Malawi.

In his message to commemorate the 2022 SADC Liberation Day which falls on March 23, and published on the SADC website, President Chakwera said plans are already underway to provide due recognition to the founders of SADC.

“Through the commemoration of the Southern Africa Liberation Day, we recognise the great contributions and sacrifices made by the founders of SADC to bring about political freedom, thereby laying a solid foundation for regional integration, cooperation and socio-economic development in the region,” said President Chakwera.

Chakwera said SADC will construct a modern museum at its secretariat in Gaborone, Botswana to curate the legacy of its founding fathers.

“Concomitant with the commemoration of the Southern Africa Liberation Day, we are implementing the mechanism in honour of the founders of SADC, which contains a number of activities, all aimed at providing due recognition to the founders for their contributions,” he said.

He explained that meeting rooms at the SADC Secretariat have already been named after the founding fathers.

SADC was initially formed as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) in Lusaka on April 1, 1980 by Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and host, Zambia, to fight for a common cause of political and economic freedom for the people of Southern Africa.

SADCC later transformed into SADC on August 17, 1992 in Windhoek, Namibia to focus on regional integration and economic development following the accomplishment of total liberation of the region from colonialism and apartheid.

Since its formation 42 years ago, the regional grouping’s membership has grown from the original nine members to 16 namely Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

At the 2018 summit in Windhoek, Namibia, SADC instituted the Southern Africa Liberation Day, commemorated on March 23, to celebrate its political liberation and remembrance of heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle.

President Chakwera said SADC is committed to preserving the history of the Southern African liberation struggle by documenting it. -ZANIS

 

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