Lilongwe: President Jacob Zuma has joined regional leaders at the conclusion of the SADC summit in Malawi to call on Egyptian authorities to restore constitutional order in the violent thorn country.
“We could not forget discussing the issue of Egypt, we actually said we cannot accept that the government there properly elected and constitutionally and now it must be removed. And we said that we do not accept it and we call on Egyptians to return normalcy in that country, the crisis has been deepening and we must do everything we can to help the Egyptians,” Zuma told reporters as he prepared to leave Malawi on Sunday.
He described the two-day summit as generally successful and said South Africa was happy about the outcome. He said SADC continues to bring about hope to the millions of its people, adding that the regions were more peaceful and prosperous than before. The summit elected Malawian President as the new chairperson of the regional body, with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as her deputy. Banda becomes the first woman to chair SADC.
“This shows the empowerment of women that we take it serious as a body we seem to be moving very strongly towards giving women the possibility of occupying decision making positions,” Zuma said.
In her speech Banda said SADC has achieved to steer the region towards economic integration, peace and democracy. She called on regional leaders to continue with attracting investors to the region’s infrastructure development programmes.
“I’m pleased to note that we generally have peace and stability in the region despite a few pockets of political insecurity.
“On the economic front, the summit noted food security and nutrition as a major economic challenge for the region,” said Banda.
Earlier the summit resolved to reiterate the call for the lifting of sanctions of Zimbabwe so that country could find its way to economic recovery.
Leaders also welcomed the deployment of the SADC’s intervention brigade to the Democratic Republic of Congo to contain the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the eastern part of the country.