A South African delegation is expected to arrive in crisis-hit Zimbabwe on Tuesday 8 September 2020, the ruling party in Harare said, in the latest attempt to mediate a recent crackdown on dissent.
Years of repression in Zimbabwe worsened in the run-up to banned anti-government protests on July 31, during which at least 20 demonstrators were arrested and charged with inciting public violence.
“The ANC delegation must meet with all the key stakeholders in Zimbabwe otherwise we are wasting time. They must meet the MDCA, they must meet the key civil society groups, the must meet with journalists who have been victimized by ZANU PF.”
Mediating the crisis
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since vowed to “flush out” the “bad apples” attempting to “divide our people” – stoking concern among social activists and opposition figures already targeted by the regime.
Three veteran South African politicians were sent to Zimbabwe in early August to mediate the crisis.
But the delegation did not meet with opposition parties and was widely criticised for failing to confront Mnangagwa, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa to send another set of envoys.
Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party on Tuesday said that the second delegation would arrive “today” and meet its officials on Wednesday “to discuss issues of mutual interest”.
Decades of mismanagement
“We are also aware that this visit is taking place against the backdrop of false claims of a nation in crisis,” the party added in a statement, echoing the government’s repeated attempts to downplay the situation.
Mnangagwa has grown increasingly hostile towards critics since he took over from his despotic predecessor Robert Mugabe, who was ousted by a coup in 2017.
The southern African country has been crippled by decades of mismanagement, and many Zimbabweans complain that the situation has grown worse under Mnangagwa.
The first South African delegation, sent to Zimbabwe on August 10, met only with Mnangagwa. No statement was issued after the visit and Ramaphosa – who is also the current chairman of the African Union – has faced pressure to take a more decisive stance.
@PresidencyZA you are such a joke .zanu pf will never change .Your idiotic marriage with zanu pf will only worsen things in Zim .ZANU PF is not Zimbabwe and ANC is not South Africa simple….
— Ndabambi chimombe (@Ndabambichimom1) September 8, 2020
Despite domestic and international pressure, #SouthAfrica has little real leverage & Ramaphosa can’t impose sanctions or take effective steps to bring #Zimbabwe to heel. Could put crisis on SADC/ AU agenda and hope for the best (and that everyone stops asking him to do something) https://t.co/xGuj52HOnM
— Nathan Hayes (@NathanHayesEIU) September 8, 2020
© Agence France-Presse
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