President Lazarus Chakwera on Monday threw his weight behind Botswana and its candidate for the post of Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) executive secretary, Elias Mpedi Magosi.
Chakwera, who is due to take over the Sadc chairmanship in August, made his open endorsement on Monday during a press briefing he co-addressed with visiting Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
Masisi was in the country just for about three hours for bilateral talks with the Malawi leader.
Speaking during the briefing, Masisi thanked Chakwera for supporting his country’s candidate and took advantage of the occasion to sell a brief of Magosi.
He said: “Magosi is this young eligible man. He is the Permanent Secretary to the President of Botswana. He is secretary to Cabinet. He is head of public service.
“He is an economist and statistician and a management specialist, experienced in both the private sector, government and regional organisations. In him, doing Sadc a favour, a service by offering him to lead Sadc.”
Chakwera said he had received the request with gratitude and advised Botswana to accept the outcome of the democratic process that comes with the appointing of the executive secretary.
He said: “I have received it and I will support it and we will expect that both of us respect what will come out of the democratic process.”
If successful, Magosi will replace Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, a Tanzanian who is the sixth Sadc executive secretary and the first woman to hold the position. Tax has served for two terms since her appointment in August 2013. Her term expires in August this year.
During the meeting, Masisi also extended an invitation to Chakwera to visit Botswana for further discussions.
Since assuming office in June last year, Chakwera has been to six neighbouring countries, including Botswana where he attended a Sadc Troika meeting. Masisi visited Malawi for the second time on Monday as he was also in the country in 2018.
The two leaders also indicated that they discussed plans to establish resident diplomatic missions to strengthen what was described as longtime friendship and bilateral ties.
Masisi said beyond the current areas of cooperation such as tourism, mining and agriculture, Botswana, is eager to go beyond.
Founded on August 17 1992, Sadc is a 16-member inter-governmental organisation headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana whose goal is to foster regional socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation.