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Mnangagwa maintains 'no crisis' stance

by Staff reporter
07 Sep 2020 at 17:24hrs | Views
A delegation from South Africa's ruling African National Congress arrives in Zimbabwe on Tuesday, beginning the latest round of attempts by President Cyril Ramaphosa to break the political logjam in Harare.

The delegation led by ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is expected to meet with top officials from President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF party before engaging his rivals and other interest groups.

Ramaphosa is also expected to shortly dispatch three special envoys whose previous trip to Harare early last month did not go according to plan after Mnangagwa blocked them from meeting his main rival, MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

Mnangagwa is coming under increasing pressure from a restive population angry over state brutality and an economic collapse that has seen inflation gallop past 800 percent while salaries have stagnated.

On Friday, he maintained that "there is no crisis" in Zimbabwe while accusing his political rivals of seeking his overthrow through unconstitutional means.

"In the wake of the arrest of some elements whose actions sought not only to incite the public to gather against the set rules (of Covid-19)… subversive allegations of a crisis have been made mainly in the social media circles," Mnangagwa told a meeting of the Political Actors Dialogue, a grouping of over a dozen small political party leaders he defeated in 2018.

"I wish to unequivocally state that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe as elections were held in July 2018 and a winner was declared in terms of the country's constitution."

Chamisa does not recognise Mnangagwa's presidency, which has fueled a political paralysis in the country as the 77-year-old Zanu-PF leader seeks to assert his legitimacy while an economic crisis rages in the background.

Last week, Western diplomats in Zimbabwe expressed deep concern over a deteriorating political and economic crisis, and said the government should stop using the Covid-19 pandemic to curtail freedoms.

Heads of mission from the United States, Britain, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Norway and Poland said in a statement that Mnangagwa's initial promises of uniting the country and reforming the economy when he came to power had not been matched by his actions.

"The heads of mission express deep concern with the current political, economic, social and health crisis that Zimbabweans are facing today," the diplomats said.

Mnangagwa's aides have bristled with rage in recent days, rejecting suggestions that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe.

George Charamba, the president's spokesman, even questioned South Africa's decision to get involved in Zimbabwe without the mandate of the regional trade and political bloc, SADC.

"South Africa is no donor State in SADC," Charamba said last week. "If anything, its long apartheid legacy makes its post-1994 subregional role quite problematic for the rest of SADC States…"

Ramaphosa is however determined to defuse tensions in Zimbabwe which he says have led to Zimbabwean economic refugees flooding his country.

Ramaphosa last week said the ANC officials would engage Zimbabwe's political rivals "with the intention to develop a fuller understanding of the situation" in Zimbabwe and "to determine how the government and ANC can assist."

The delegation "must speak to all parties and stakeholders as well", he maintained.

Source - zimlive