The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) has honoured eight founding leaders of the SADC.
The honour was bestowed on late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, in an honour handed after the SADC meeting in Kinshasa.
Seven other leaders of Southern African states who came together to form The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) were equally celebrated.
All the founding leaders are now late.
List of the SADC Founding leaders
Angola: Agostinho Neto (died September 10,1979)
Botswana: Seretse Khama (died July 13, 1980)
Eswatini: King Sobhuza (died August 21, 1982)
Mozambique: Samora Machel (died October 19, 1986)
Malawi: Hastings Kamuzu Banda (died November 25, 1997)
Tanzania: Julius Nyerere (died October 14, 1999)
Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe (died Sept 6, 2019)
Zambia: Kenneth Kaunda (died June 17, 2021)
The SADC founding leaders left a mixed legacy. While some leaders, like Mugabe being credited for advancing the interest of Africans in education and land ownership, are criticised for leading extremely corrupt governments and failing to navigate international power dynamics. Mugabe left power unceremoniously in a coup d’etat executed by the military and apparently co-planned by his then ousted deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
It was President Mnangagwa this week who handed over the medal of honour to Mugabe’s widow, Grace Mugabe.
SADC as a regional bloc also had limited success in integrating it’s members states to allow for freer movement and trade.
Africans in SADC bloc still require passports to enter the member countries and cannot freely work or establish businesses without first attaining work or business permits, which are generally hard to get.
Félix Tshisekedi took over the helm of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) during the 42nd Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the organisation which wraps up today. He succeeds Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi.
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