By Farai Matiashe
South African opposition leader, Julius Malema has offered to mediate between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and G40 faction members who fled Zimbabwe soon after the November 2017 coup which toppled long-time ruler, the late Robert Mugabe.
Malema said Mnangagwa must guarantee the safe return of the G40 elements and also pleaded for the protection of former First Lady Grace Mugabe whose properties are under threat from previous owners.
Prominent among the G40 members who fled the country were former ministers Jonathan Moyo, Patrick Zhuwao, Saviour Kasukuwere, Mandiitawepi Chimene and Walter Mzembi.
Speaking in the South African Parliament on Tuesday, Malema said Mnangagwa should unite with the G40 members for the country to progress.
“We also want to make a clarion call to President Mnangagwa to allow the Zimbabwean comrades, Zanu PF comrades who are in exile to return home,” he said.
But Information ministry secretary Nick Mangwana told NewsDay that the G40 cadres were in self-imposed exile.
“Nobody has been stopped from coming home from self-imposed exile,” he said.
Mangwana warned that those who have committed crimes in the country will not be given amnesty upon arrival.
“However, there is no current amnesty in place to immunise from prosecution all those suspected of having broken the laws of the country, be they from the political space or any other,” he said.
Mnangagwa has been accused of using the police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to elbow out his political rivals.
Malema said there should be political tolerance in the country and he was ready to mediate between the G40 members and Mnangagwa.
“There should be high level of political tolerance because the disagreement should not lead to targeting and victimising those who hold a different view,” he said.
“If Zimbabwe is going to succeed all the progressive forces will have to come together in defence of what (the late former) President Mugabe stood for and we will want to also avail ourselves to facilitate that type of an agreement between the comrades in exile and those who remain in Zimbabwe.”
Malema said the Mnangagwa-led administration should not torment Mugabe’s widow Grace.
“They are small-minded people who always get tempted to blame Grace for whatever reason and we see that as a direct attack on the legacy of Mugabe,” he said. “You must have courage to confront Mugabe (legacy) and leave his wife out of your hatred of his politics because it is only fools who target wives when they are defeated by husbands.”
The EFF leader said the economic crisis in the former British colony, started when Zimbabweans took back their land during the land reform programme under Mugabe. He said South Africans should unite to fight the white imperialists who imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe. NewsDay