JOHANNESBURG – Build One South Africa movement (Bosa) leader Mmusi Maimane has urged his Southe African President Cyril Ramaphosa not to attend the inauguration and swearing-in ceremony of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mnagangwa’s official inauguration is expected to take place on Monday, September 4, in Harare following recent elections in the country, which saw him emerge victorious with 52.6 percent of the total votes cast, while his opponent Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) clinched 44 percent of the votes.
In a letter addressed to heads of State, Zimbabwean secretary for foreign affairs and international trade James Manzou said Mnangagwa, who also leads ruling party Zanu-PF, had invited his counterparts to attend.
However, Maimane pointed out that by attending, Ramaphosa would be subverting the stance taken by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) on the Zimbabwe elections.
In a previous statement, SADC’s Electoral Observer Mission denounced the harmonised elections in Zimbabwe, stating that they violated democratic processes and “fell short of the requirements of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Electoral Act, and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections…”
Maimane said for this reason, Ramaphosa should not “undermine SADC and not extend the crisis in Zimbabwe, which is affecting South Africa,” by attending, he wrote on Twitter.
Chamisa’s CCC has meanwhile called for fresh elections to avoid the “crisis” faced by Zimbabwe.
While Ramaphosa’s office has yet to officially pronounce on whether he will be attending or not, in a previous statement, he congratulated the people of Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections and said while he noted the concerns raised by international observers missions and those from the AU and SADC, “South Africa calls on all the parties in Zimbabwe to work in unison in sustaining peace and work towards development and shared prosperity in the country.”
Furthermore, in a statement issued on Friday, the ANC’s national working committee repeated its calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted to allow for the “nation’s development”.
It also called for peace and political tolerance in the country.