Namibia’s foreign minister says her government is encouraged by the decision of Zimbabwe’s leaders to resolve their differences in the run up to that country’s general election.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says the government in Windhoek is cooperating with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as part of an effort to help Zimbabwe carry out a peaceful vote.
“SADC is calling on Zimbabweans, as they are now preparing for their elections, to ensure that there is a free and fair election,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
Her comments came after Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, agreed to the July 31 election.
“We are really saying that the people of Zimbabwe are ready for election because an extension of two weeks is telling you that people are ready. They just want to deal with some of the logistical issues,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah. “As Namibians, we are only encouraging the people of Zimbabwe to make sure that they have peaceful and free elections so that they can then continue with the economic development of their country.”
She says Windhoek and Harare will continue to enjoy warm diplomatic and bilateral relations.
On other issues, Nandi-Ndaitwah said Namibia was cooperating with neighboring countries as well as the African Union to help ensure peace and stability on the continent.
She said her government supports international efforts to resolve the security challenges in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“Namibia as a member of the SADC organ on Defense and Security is daily monitoring the activities of security in the region, and that is how we are playing our role as a member of this region,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.
Meanwhile, Namibia is expected to take over the chairmanship of the regional bloc’s Politics, Defense and Security group as SADC regional leaders plan to meet in an extraordinary summit in August.
“Each and every member state of SADC has to contribute to peace building and to bring about mutual understanding, when we are dealing with one another both economically and politically, and Namibia will play its role,” said Nandi-Ndaitwah.