ANC delegation expected in Zimbabwe Tuesday

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa arrive for bilateral talks in Harare, Zimbabwe March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

A 10-member delegation from South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) is expected in the country on Tuesday to meet its ZANU PF counterparts as part of the revolutionary parties’ efforts to strengthen mutual cooperation and appraise each other of developments on either side of the Limpopo.

ZANU PF director for Information and Publicity Tafadzwa Mugwadi confirmed the visit.

“I can confirm that the delegation will arrive on Tuesday. I am not sure of the full names of the team, but obviously it is going to include the top brass of the ANC. I understand that ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule will lead the team.”

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe acknowledged receipt of inquiries from The Sunday Mail, but had not responded by yesterday.

The latest engagement comes as the two liberation movements are being targeted for attacks by forces bent on ousting them from power.

Last week, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa came under a vicious attack at the National Executive Committee (NEC) — the party’s highest decision-making body — where he was told by some members to resign.

In a statement after the virtual special meeting between August 28 and August 30, the NEC said their leader was clearly under attack from a “well-choreographed” campaign.

“The NEC emphasised that what seems to be a well-choreographed campaign against the President will not distract the movement from undertaking an intensified programme against corruption and state capture . . .” it said in a statement after the crucial weekend meetings.

The party is battling allegations of corruption against senior party officials over the procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment.

Similarly, Government has also been under a coordinated attack from some opposition political parties and organisations, including some Western missions, especially following the abortive July 31 demonstrations, which were touted as an uprising.

The attacks were concentrated on social media, where old and rehashed videos and pictures were recycled to give an impression of a political crisis in Zimbabwe.

The contrived footage also found its way on SA television channels.

Mutual challenges

Mugwadi, however, said the meeting will deliberate on mutual challenges that the two parties are facing.

“It should be made clear that this meeting is not based on the so-called notion that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe. There is no crisis in Zimbabwe and our position as ZANU PF is that the only crisis that is there is actually in the opposition, which has been torn into smithereens because of the issues that they took to court.

“We now have a scenario whereby the opposition now wants to frame their crisis as a national crisis. It is not the duty of ZANU PF to assume that the crisis in the opposition should be turned into a national crisis.”

ZANU PF, he added, expects the ANC to lend its muscle to regional efforts to lobby for the removal of sanctions.

“Sanctions are the biggest crisis facing Zimbabwe and we expect that as a fellow liberation movement, the ANC, which managed to fight the ruthlessness of apartheid, can also render us assistance in fighting this embargo.”

Addressing the ANC’s NEC meeting last week, the South African president said he had agreed with President Mnangagwa that is was important for the ANC to get a clear picture of the situation in Zimbabwe.

“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.”

Last week, Zanu PF secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu said the only crisis in Zimbabwe was the “continued demonisation of our Government”.

“In the face of this pro-opposition postured ‘political crisis in Zimbabwe’, this ZANU PF-ANC dialogue on Zimbabwe must reinforce our ideological convergences inasmuch as it should unpack the two nationalist parties’ shared existential threats.

“While there is a dedicated onslaught on Zimbabwe and ZANU PF in particular to disfigure the political situation in the country, we hope our ANC counterparts will be better acquainted with the genuine state of affairs in our country beyond the sinister propagandas of our detractors,” he said.