JOHANNESBURG – High-flying ANC leaders shall be heading to Harare to take Zanu PF Politburo head-on as the crisis-hit Zimbabwe situation continues to deteriorate.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said yesterday President Emerson Mnangagwa invited the ANC leaders to meet his Zanu PF Politiburo.
This is a follow to the recent visit to Zimbabwe by Ramaphosa’s envoys in an attempt to understand the problems bedeviling former Rodesia.
Three veteran South African politicians travelled to Zimbabwe in early August after authorities banned anti-government demonstrations and arrested several protesters.
The delegation did not meet opposition parties and was widely criticised for failing to confront Mnangagwa about his administration’s mounting crackdown on dissent.
Zimbabwe’s government has vehemently denied that a crisis is unfolding within its borders.
“The (ANC) secretary-general will be finalising the delegation that will be going to Zimbabwe in days to go and meet with the Zimbabwe governing party,” Ramaphosa told reporters during a virtual Press conference yesterday.
Ramaphosa maintained that this time around the ANC leaders travelling to Zimbabwe will meet other stakeholders which include political parties, citizens Movements, churches and civic societies.
“When they get there they should get the opportunity of meeting other stakeholders in Zimbabwe,” he added.
“Clearly it is important that we get as broad a view of what is happening in Zimbabwe as we possibly can.”
Zimbabweans complain that the situation has grown worse under Mnangagwa.
In July he vowed to “flush out” the “bad apples” attempting to “divide our people” — stoking concern among social activists and opposition figures already targeted by the government.
Mnangagwa’s harsh rhetoric and a recent spate of high-profile arrests have sparked outrage on social media, with the hashtag #ZimbabweanLivesMatter trending worldwide.
The first South African delegation, sent to Zimbabwe on August 10, met only with Mnangagwa.
No statement was issued after the visit and Ramaphosa — who is also the current chairman of the African Union — has faced pressure to take a more decisive stance.
Zimbabweans are grappling with inflation of over 800 percent, a strike by nurses which is in its third month and emergency rule conditions which have seen an unprecedented crackdown on dissent.
Ramaphosa said they are “having to deal with a situation on our borders” as Zimbabweans stream across to escape growing poverty and repression.
A resolution of the NEC read by Ramaphosa said: “The NEC welcomed government efforts to engage the situation in Zimbabwe, in particular the deployment of special envoys. It emphasised the importance of the envoys engaging with all stakeholders in the country to assist in addressing the current situation. ANC and government processes must complement each other.”
ANC secretary general Ace Magashule will lead a delegation to engage Zanu PF “with the intention to develop a fuller understanding of the situation” in Zimbabwe and “to determine how the government and ANC can assist.”
“It was also agreed that the ANC must speak to all parties and stakeholders as well,” the ANC said.
––Zimbabwe Observer and AFP.