Harare (New Ziana)-Former Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Ambassador Andrew Mtetwa have been appointed to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Panel of Elders and Mediation Reference Group respectively, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said on Friday.
In a statement, the Ministry said the appointments were made following approval by the 41st Ordinary Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government held in Lilongwe, Malawi in August 2021.
The Panel of Elders and Mediation Reference Group are part of the SADC Mediation and Conflict Prevention and Preventative Diplomacy structure that was established by the SADC Heads of State and Government in August 2014.
“The structure is aimed at strengthening SADC’s mediation capacities and timeously pre-empt violent conflict,” said the Ministry.
Chinamasa held various government portfolios including those of Attorney General, Minister of Finance and Economic Development and Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
The Ministry said Chinamasa joins four other eminent personalities that include former Heads of State and Government and former Government Ministers from other SADC countries on the SADC Panel of Elders. His appointment is for a four-year term until August 2025.
Ambassador Mtetwa is the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Belgium, Ethiopia, South Africa and Zambia.
He is currently a lecturer at the Zimbabwe National Defence University.
The Ministry said Mtetwa will serve on the Mediation Reference Group with eight other former ambassadors and high-level officials from the SADC region who were appointed for their demonstrable technical expertise in strategic studies, conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy.
He will also serve for a term of four years ending in August 2025.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade takes this opportunity to congratulate Honourable Chinamasa and Ambassador Mtetwa on their appointments to these important assignments which aim to support the ongoing efforts of SADC Heads of State and Government to promote peace and security in the SADC region. Their appointments are testimony to Zimbabwe’s ability to produce distinguished regional leaders.
“The Ministry wishes them success in fulfilling their functions as members of the SADC Panel of Elders and Mediation Reference Group,” it said.