SA envoys to Zimbabwe meet only with Mnangagwa who insists criticisms are 'divisive falsehoods'
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s mediation in Zimbabwe got off to a rocky start after his special envoys met only with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and not the opposition.
SA's former deputy president Baleka Mbete and former cabinet ministers Sydney Mufamadi and Ngoako Ramatlhodi, on a mission to “meet all stakeholders”, had a meeting behind closed doors with Mnangagwa at State House.
After the meeting, Mufamadi told reporters the SA envoys were dispatched by Ramaphosa to seek clarity on alleged human rights violation and abductions. He declined to say what came out of the meeting but promised that Ramaphosa would speak soon.
“We can’t tell our president what was discussed through the media. We will brief him and he will then make it public,” he said.
But sources told TimesLIVE that Mnangagwa reiterated that there’s no crisis in Zimbabwe.
The opposition said it felt let down by the envoys' failure to meet them.
The MDC Alliance in a statement accused Mnangagwa of blocking the envoys from hearing from them.
A delegation from the opposition was instructed to be on standby, only to be told later that the SA team would be flying back home without meeting them.
“We can only assume that the failure to meet the MDC Alliance delegation was a result of demands made by the Zanu-PF delegation,” the party said.
With no-one to hear their story, the MDC Alliance said the ruling party Zanu-PF’s government was incapable of resolving challenges faced by the country because it lacked legitimacy.
The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat said he was closely following political developments in Zimbabwe. The MDC Alliance said it would continue to mount pressure for a national dialogue to solve the crisis back home.
Also on Monday, Mnangagwa called criticism of human rights abuses by his government “divisive falsehoods” and said his administration was under renewed attack from domestic and foreign opponents.
During a Heroes' Day speech in Harare, he said the allegations were “unjustified attacks by our perennial detractors, both inside and outside our border”.
“The divisive falsehoods and concoctions by renegades and supremacists who want to pounce on our natural resources will never win the day. Truth shall triumph over lies, and good over evil,” said Mnangagwa.
— additional reporting by Reuters