Mbeki suggests a GNU like one in 2009 could solve crisis in Zimbabwe
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has reprimanded Zimbabwean leaders for failing to resolve election disputes telling them to prioritise “what is in the best interest of Zimbabwe”.
Mbeki suggested that a Government of National Unity (GNU) like the one he helped broker in 2009 could solve the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is in the middle of a political crisis caused by the recently held harmonised general elections.
Incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa emerged as a winner in the controversial plebiscite condemned by key regional and international election observers.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) said the process failed to meet the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa who lost with 44% to Mnangagwa’s 52,6% refused to endorse an election outcome which was marred by massive irregularities.
Mbeki who was a key figure in resolving the 2008 Zimbabwean crisis which saw then President Robert Mugabe unleashing a reign of terror killing opposition supporters after losing the election, believes the GNU played a key role in uniting Zimbabweans.
He likened the current Zimbabwean situation to 2008.
“You remember after the 2008 elections which were very disputed and then the second round of the presidential elections marked by a lot of violence, Zimbabwean parties agreed that the only way to react to that reality was that they form a Government of National Unity,” said Mbeki.
“It was a response to what had happened during the elections. In 2008 when Zimbabweans themselves could see that elections had not produced a winner they got together for five years.
“The leaders of Zimbabwe must act as leaders, what is in the best interest of Zimbabwe? That is how I would have approached it.”
Speaking to SABC on the sidelines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly in New York, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the SADC preliminary report on Zimbabwe did not invalidate the plebiscite.
“If one looks at that report, it actually says there were challenges; challenges with regards to a number of things that have got to do with the election,” he said.
“Many countries throughout the world have such challenges; the United States is a prime example with regards to the last election.
“They (observers) have said in the report, as I read it, that certain things need to be improved.
“They have not declared the election as invalid, unfree and unfair; they have highlighted certain challenges,” Ramaphosa added.