SENIOR STAFF WRITER
SOUTH Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mphakama Mbete, has refuted claims that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s special envoys snubbed the country’s opposition and civil society organisations when they came to Harare on Monday.
“The special envoys came to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa and they were also open to meeting any other key actors, including members of the opposition and the civil society if the opportunity presented itself.“In this case, however, they met with the head of State of Zimbabwe and decided to go back to South Africa and brief President Ramaphosa on their meeting.“Their wish is to meet with other key actors in Zimbabwe and if an opportunity presents itself they will come back and meet them in future,” Mbete told the Daily News.
“The special envoys are expected to engage the Government of Zimbabwe and relevant stakeholders to identify possible ways in which South Africa can assist Zimbabwe,” Ramaphosa said last week when he announced their appointment.
“The two leaders have been communicating and what you are seeing is a result of an agreement which they reached to send envoys into the country to discuss various issues.“That is how we do diplomacy. That is how it is done by following proper and clear channels.
“You don’t stand on top of a roof and shout whatever you want to see happen and expect to see things being done your way. That is not proper diplomacy,” Charamba said.
“Myself and two of my colleagues, Ms Baleka Mbete and Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, we came here as envoys of the president of the Republic of South Africa.“We had an exchange with his counterpart. In other words we listened to the rhythm of the situation and what is being done and the intentions to do extra things and so on.“I know you will not ask us to report to our president through the media. We will be reporting to the president (Ramaphosa) who will then interact with the public, in part through you, in due course,” Mufamadi said.
“We can only assume that the failure to meet the MDC Alliance delegation was as a result of demands made by the Zanu PF delegation.“We reiterate that Zimbabwe is in a state of crisis that has been characterised by a de facto state of emergency, a crackdown on citizens, abductions, arbitrary arrests of government critics and the political persecution of journalists,” Mahere said.
“As the church, we have insisted that these issues need urgent attention.
“We are convinced that a comprehensive national settlement to all these issues should emerge from a broad-based and comprehensive national dialogue, not only among political actors, but one that includes all sectors of society.“Our hope is that the South African envoys and the whole global solidarity will catalyse the beginning of such a truthful, loving and mutually inclusive national dialogue process.“Let such global solidarity awaken the convergence of the agency to build the Zimbabwe we want,” the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) said.