President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe is committed to promoting democracy in the region while calling on Sadc countries to remain united.

Mnangagwa, who is the incoming Sadc chairperson, said this at State House yesterday during a courtesy call by regional ambassadors to Zimbabwe.

The delegation was led by Angolan ambassador to Zimbabwe Agostino Tavares.

“Democracy and the rule of law are two of the core principles enshrined in Articles 4(c) and 5 of the Sadc Treaty. As a founding member of our august regional bloc, Zimbabwe takes pride in entrenching unity, peace and development, as well as deepening constitutionalism, good governance, democracy and the rule of law,” he said.

“I also want to assure you, as the incoming chair of Sadc, that Zimbabwe is committed to promoting our common political values, systems and democratic practices.”

Critics, however, accuse Mnangagwa of closing the democratic space as evidenced by the jailing opponents.

Mnangagwa said the ambassadors’ visit showed how the regional bloc had remained united since the days of the liberation struggle.

“This unity, love and common purpose among our countries must be nurtured and defended for shared peace and stability, as well as the socio-economic development and prosperity of our peoples,” he said.

“Your visit today shows our determination as Sadc to continue standing as a solid bloc, guided by the adage, ‘united we stand, divided we fall’. Let us remain firm on our principles of solidarity as we accelerate regional integration for sustainable development for a common future.”

Mnangagwa expressed gratitude for the solidarity call for the removal of sanctions.

“Dating back to the days of our liberation struggle, and indeed since time immemorial, we are collectively united by unbreakable bonds cemented by historical, cultural and family ties. We are one people,” he said.

Tavares said the diplomats met Mnangagwa to reiterate their support for the people of Zimbabwe.

“We are one family. We are all here to congratulate the President on the very peaceful, fair, free and transparent election,” he said.