SADC executive secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax yesterday paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at State House where the two discussed a number of issues, including the political situation in the region, climate change and youth unemployment.
Dr Tax met the President in his capacity as chairman of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
President Mnangagwa assumed the chairmanship of the organ during the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, last August.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Dr Tax said she had briefed the President on the political, peace and security situation in the region.
“The purpose of my visit was to brief the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe about the political, peace and security situation in the region, as he is our current chair of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security of SADC,” she said.
Dr Tax said the region was stable, although there were challenges in some areas.
The challenges include climate change, youth unemployment and general tensions, which all need to be addressed.
“When we talk about peace and security, we look at the socio-economic and political environment holistically because there are a number of areas that if not addressed, will impact on the actual peace and security in the region,” said Dr Tax.
Climate change has affected the region, with several countries, including Zimbabwe, experiencing devastating droughts and cyclones in the past three years.
Zimbabwe is experiencing one of its worst droughts since independence, which has seen at least 7,7 million people requiring food aid.
The drought has impacted cereal production in the region with output expected at around 30 million tonnes, which will leave a deficit of nine million tonnes.
Manicaland and Masvingo provinces were battered by Cyclone Idai last year, leaving over 300 people dead and thousands without food as crops were swept away while others received too much rains that ended up destroying the crops.
Experts suspect that climate change has since shifted rainfall patterns, with some parts of Zimbabwe and other countries in Southern Africa having not yet received decent rains to sustain crops so far in a development that will force some countries to import grain.
Source: The Herald