There's no crisis, says Zim government as country kept off AU summit agenda

13 August 2020 - 20:40 By LENIN NDEBELE
Zimbabwe is not on the agenda of a four-day SADC summit starting on Friday, according to information minister Monica Mutsvangwa. File picture.
Zimbabwe is not on the agenda of a four-day SADC summit starting on Friday, according to information minister Monica Mutsvangwa. File picture.
Image: 123RF / Natanael Alfredo Nemanita Ginting

Zimbabwe says it is not on the agenda of the four-day SADC summit, which starts on Friday, because there’s no crisis in the country.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who chairs the troika on politics, defence and security on a rotational basis, will hand over leadership to Botswana’s Mokgweetsi Masisi at the summit.

It was the hope of civic society and the opposition that Zimbabwe would be treated as an urgent matter at the summit, after South Africa sent a special envoy of former state security minister Sidney Mafumadi, former speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete and former public service minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi on a fact-finding mission to Harare over deterioration of human rights.

Responding to the outcry that the envoy did not meet the opposition and civic society, Zimbabwe’s information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the meeting was between two “brotherly” leaders at a “peer-to-peer” level - and if they chose not to disclose the details of their meeting, there’s was nothing wrong with that.

“The envoys brought in their message, which was duly delivered to the host president. In return they received a briefing from President Mnangagwa. The reciprocal messages are the property of the respecting leaders and it is their prerogative as to how they can be handled or disseminated,” she said.

“There is no Zimbabwean issue before the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, neither there is no such issue before the SADC summit. Definitely there is such an issue before the continental body, the African Union.”

Despite the South African presidency remaining mum on the Zimbabwe crisis, senior ANC members such as the party’s international relations committee chairperson and social development minister Lindiwe Zulu said there was a crisis to be dealt with.

Deputy secretary to Mnangagwa, George Charamba, said Zulu broke protocol in her utterances.

Mutsvangwa added that comments made by the opposition in South Africa should be “taken as the basis of creating perceptions or attributions of a crisis in other nations”.

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