Zvamaida Murwira in VICTORIA FALLS
Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and her Zambian counterpart Mr Stephen Kampyongo are today expected to officially open the 32nd Session of the Zimbabwe-Zambia Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security aimed at deepening collaborations and containing security threats.
Officials from the two countries led by Zimbabwe’s Secretary for Defence and War Veterans Mr Martin Rushwaya and his counterpart from Lusaka, Mr Stardy Mwale held closed door meetings on Tuesday and yesterday.
Service chiefs from the two countries are also attending the Joint Permanent Commission which started on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Philip Valerio Sibanda, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Deputy Director-General in the President’s Office, Mr Aaron Nhepera are also in attendance.
According to the programme, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri and Mr Kampyongo will officially open the meeting.
It will be followed by closed deliberations before a communiqué is issued.
The two countries are discussing an array of security issues affecting the two countries and how security threats could be prevented, detected and contained.
In his speech on Tuesday, Mr Rushwaya called for stronger cooperation in combating security threats facing the two nations.
Mr Rushwaya said the meeting offered a platform to deepen bilateral relations in areas of defence and security.
“The defence and security meetings provide us an important platform to exchange notes and pave way for stronger cooperation in combating the common security threats that confront, not only our two countries, but the entire Sadc region and the African continent,” said Mr Rushwaya.
“These threats continue to evolve, riding on the exponential growth in information and communication technology and the accelerated pace of globalisation.
“This is leading to a rise in transitional organised crime and as such, the need for stronger bilateral and multilateral defence and security cooperation can never be overemphasised.”
He said the influx of irregular migrants, particularly from the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa, poaching of wildlife heritage and smuggling were some of major security challenges facing the region.
In his remarks, Mr Mwale said defence and security services personnel from the two counties should continue to explore more areas of cooperation and ensured continued peace and security not only along the common border, but also within the two countries.
He bemoaned the effects of Cyclone Idai that affected Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique and killed hundreds of lives and a trail of destruction saying that was the effects of climate change which has not spared Africa.
“Our continued interaction between our defence and security institutions accords us an opportunity to find ways of addressing effects of such calamities and other matters of concern,” said Mr Mwale.