Zim Opposition Leader On Diplomatic Offensive in South Africa


Zimbabwe opposition leader Nelson Chamisa is in South Africa on a diplomatic offensive to pressure President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in his country’s affairs, to prevent further economic decline.

Chamisa, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has made several appeals to Ramaphosa to facilitate dialogue between him and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, to break the political impasse.

Chamisa has challenged Mnangagwa’s legitimacy, and accused him of stealing the 2018 elections.

While Mnangagwa has started dialogue with some of the opposition parties that contested the 2018 election, Chamisa and leaders of three other political parties, have refused to meet with him, insisting on a neutral mediator.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who mediated talks between former late President Robert Mugabe and late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other MDC formations after a violent and disputed 2008 election, has expressed willingness to assist in talks, and has even been to Harare to meet with concerned parties.

Chamisa told VOA Zimbabwe Service that he wants Pretoria to intervene because the political temperatures in Harare are rising.

Reacting to Chamisa’s regional initiative, ruling Zanu-PF party secretary for administration, Paul Mangwana, said there is no crisis in Zimbabwe that calls for regional intervention.

Mnangagwa has not warmed to regional intervention, opting for internal dialogue and has initiated his own domestic talks under the banner of the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), a forum that brings together about 17 opposition parties that participated in the 2018 elections.