Zimbabwe and Zambia on Thursday officially opened the 32nd Session of the Zimbabwe-Zambia Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) on Defence and Security, African Daily Voice has learnt.
Presided over by the Zimbabwean Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and her Zambian counterpart Stephen Kampyongo, the Zim, Zambia JPC is aimed at deepening collaborations and containing security threats.
According to The Herald, officials from the two countries led by Zimbabwe’s Secretary for Defence and War Veterans Martin Rushwaya and his counterpart from Lusaka, Stardy Mwale held closed door meetings on Tuesday and yesterday.
The service chiefs from the two countries are also attending the Joint Permanent Commission which started on Tuesday.
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, Rushwaya called for stronger cooperation in combating security threats facing the two nations.
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 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 added that 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, 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 Mwale.