By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Zanu PF has warned South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) against coming back to Zimbabwe to engage with rights organisations and opposition parties over gross human rights violations orchestrated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration.
The ANC came to Zimbabwe last week to assess the socio-political situation in the country. It engaged Zanu PF and went back to South Africa without meeting opposition parties and rights organisations.
The party’s secretary general vowed to come back to Harare to discuss with other stakeholders including the main opposition MDC Alliance about their concerns about massive human rights violations by the Zanu PF administration.
But Zanu PF has already rebuked ANC’s intention claiming that it was unnecessary for the party to engage another parties through what it branded “puppet movements”.
On Wednesday Zanu PF’s Director of Information, Tafadzwa Mugwadi told the state owned Herald newspaper that the ANC was jumping the gun and should focus on South African problems.
“It’s unfortunate, but we find it imperative to inform our sister revolutionary party, the ANC, to focus their attention on matters affecting South Africans rather than attempt to experiment attention-seeking gimmicks in the name of our stable nation and our peaceful people.
“For the record, there was no deliberation nor agreement on them coming back to meet anyone over the issues we discussed.
“It’s unprecedented in the history of our fraternal relations as revolutionary parties for the ANC to seek to verify our submissions through puppet movements.
“Just imagine a Zanu PF delegation forcing itself to engage renegade movements like the DA, EFF or Afrikaner organisations to verify and ascertain whether the ANC is correct or not,” Mugwadi said.
After their visit to Zimbabwe last week, the ANC confirmed that the country is facing major challenges consisting of human rights abuses and vowed to remain frank in their engagements with Zanu PF.
ANC’s peace and stability committee, Toni Yengeni, who was one of the delegates, said that they had discovered that Zimbabwe had a crisis after they held a closed-door meeting with top Zanu PF officials on Wednesday last week.
“There are problems in Zimbabwe, major challenges both of social, economic and to some extent of a political nature,” Yengeni said.
ANC spokesman Pule Mabe, in a statement, said the party will come back to Harare and meet other stakeholders.
“The engagement between ANC and Zanu PF was both frank and constructive, conducted in the fraternal spirit of two liberation movements.
“As such we remain committed to extending the space for political dialogue with the view of advancing social, political and economic interests of the people of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“Our joint engagement on and commitment to the advancement and protection of human rights always remain paramount. We do so while respecting the freedom of speech and all the basic universal freedoms.
“In this regard, it was agreed that the ANC will in the foreseeable future return to Zimbabwe to meet different stakeholders,” Mabe said.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing massive human rights violations perpetrated by Zanu PF’s under-fire administration which is battling an economic crisis partly blamed on corruption and mismanagement.
The past four months have seen arrests and illegal detentions by Mnangagwa’s administration of political activists, opposition politicians, journalists among other dissenting voices.