Time for frank talks


A DELEGATION from South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) will be in Harare tomorrow to meet the governing Zanu PF on an exploratory mission to find ways the regional economic powerhouse can assist in ending decades-long political and economic crises.

The 10-member South African team, led by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, was mandated to travel to Harare by the national executive committee after recent allegations of state-sponsored human rights violations following the foiled July 31 protest.

Besides meeting Zanu PF, the delegation will also have wide consultations with opposition parties, civil society, the church and other stakeholders.

“ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule will lead a delegation to engage Zanu PF with the intention to develop a fuller understanding of the situation in Zimbabwe and to determine how the government and the ANC can assist.
“It was also agreed that the ANC must speak to all parties and stakeholders as well,” South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said last week.

“In my discussions with President Mnangagwa, he informed me that their politburo wanted and desired to be in conversation with the ANC to discuss the situation much more fully in Zimbabwe, and we agreed that this delegation must now proceed.

“The NEC (ANC’s national executive committee) expressed a deep desire that when they get there they should have an opportunity of meeting other stakeholders in Zimbabwe.

“Clearly, it is important that we get as broad a view of what is happening in Zimbabwe as we possibly can.”
This comes as Mnangagwa, his government and Zanu PF have vehemently and adamantly denied there was a crisis in the country. They insisted that there were saboteurs working with the West and the United States to effect regime change.

Obviously, Mnangagwa and his hangers-on are totally wrong. The country is in a mess and needs urgent measures to pluck it from the political and economic crises. And, as we have contended before, the solution is an all-inclusive dialogue to mediate the country out of its problems.

It is undeniable that while South Africa can facilitate a meeting of the country’s political gladiators and other stakeholders, the solution to our problems has to come from Zimbabweans.

This is only achievable if we have frank negotiations amongst ourselves, with South Africa playing a facilitator role as a neighbour and Zimbabwe’s major trading partner.

It is our fervent hope that the South African delegation will cut to the chase and brutally and frankly tell Mnangagwa, opposition parties and other stakeholders to end the current cacophony and save Zimbabwe from imploding into another failed state.

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