By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
A delegation from South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) snubbed opposition parties, civil society, and human rights activists in Zimbabwe’ as the political crisis rages on.
In a twist of events the delegation that previously declared there was a crisis in Zimbabwe which needed to be resolved immediately before it escalated, have shifted goal posts saying they will arrange to engage other stakeholders later.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said they had received requests from the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, MDC Alliance and other civic organisations to meet them but they resolved to go without engaging them.
“We have received requests to meet other stakeholders like Transform Zimbabwe opposition party, Dr Simba Makoni, ZAPU, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and Movement for Democratic Change Alliance as well as United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe.
“But we felt together with Zanu PF that indeed there is no problem in meeting with the structures. Therefore, we are going to make arrangements to once more come back and meet with these organizations,” Magashule said.
The ANC delegation led by secretary-general Magashule arrived in Zimbabwe on Tuesday to engage the ruling Zanu PF party over reports of massive human rights violations orchestrated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
They were welcomed at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Zanu PF chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and several senior party officials.
The delegation was comprising of chairperson and Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Gwede Mantashe, Defence Minister and ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, NEC and National Working Committee member Tony Yengeni, Social Development Minister and chairperson of the NEC on international relations Lindiwe Zulu and chairperson of the NEC on economic transformation Enoch Godongwana.
Meanwhile, political commentator, Alexander Rusero said the meeting was not a mediation process because it intended to engage Zanu PF only.
“If they want to get a clear picture of what is manifesting in Zimbabwe it would be prudent if they meet all parties but, what is important is to set the record straight to the people that this is not a mediation exercise.
“Mediation is when you bring parties together and you start the process of making them talk and understand each other. What we are at this stage is the ANC government engaging in some form of fact finding mission where they want to get all sides of the story.
“So there is nothing much to write home about this visit because at the end of the day Zanu PF is going to continue to be the party in power.
“It is not going to rectify the challenges that the Zimbabwean economy faces. It is not going to restore the much anticipated confidence within the Zimbabwean economy,” Rusero said.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing human rights violations perpetrated by Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration which is battling an economic crisis partly blamed on corruption and mismanagement.