SADC pays tribute to founding fathers
Gaborone – Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba has paid tribute to the organisation’s founding fathers. The founding fathers are Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Sir Seretse Khama of Botswana, Dr Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Dr Antonio Agostinho Neto of Angola, Samora Machel of Mozambique, His Majesty King Sobhuza of Swaziland and Chief Leboa Jonathan of Lesotho. Speaking at official opening of the SADC House in Gaborone last Saturday Pohamba observed that the founding fathers of the organisation, Pohamba were visionary leaders who demonstrated extraordinary foresight and collective wisdom in conceptualising and establishing SADC. He said among their countless contributions to the liberation of southern Africa from the yoke of oppression, the quest for regional unity was part of their urelenting resistance to apartheid aggression, economic blackmail and destabilisation. “I also wish to pay particular tribute to the people of the then Frontline States for their steadfast support for the liberation of southern Africa,’’ he said. The Namibian President said many people in the region were killed, maimed and their properties wantonly destroyed by the forces of apartheid, but they stood firm and did not waver. According to Pohamba “thousands more in Sadc member States sacrificed their lives and shed their precious blood, so that today, we can celebrate this new Sadc headquarters with dignity, peace and freedom. Therefore Pohamba called on the members states to demonstrate commitment towards integration. Touching on the complex once more, Pohamba said it was built at an estimated cost of P190 million, is a building block for continental integration. He said the building is epitomizes SADC member states’ common values and commitment to regional integration, which will bring along cooperation amongst the nations in the region. “It is a symbol of unity of purpose and demonstrates the commitment of our Member States to stand together in our collective quest for sustainable social, economic and political development,” he said. He commended SADC countries for this Private Public Partnership, (signed between SADC Secretariat and Bongwe Investments) as it is a practical step to strengthen regional economic community. He described the inauguration as the most fitting gift to mark the SADC 30th anniversary commemoration, which occurred during the Windhoek Summit last August. Pohamba urged the Secretariat to re-dedicate their efforts in implementing decisions of all SADC decision making organs given the efficient coordination expected as they are now housed under one roof.