Lovemore Madhuku reveals why former South African President Thabo Mbeki came to Zimbabwe yesterday


POLITICAL actors who attended a series of meetings on Monday with former South African President Thabo Mbeki have dismissed as speculation suggestions of a pending Government of National Unity (GNU), saying Mbeki’s visit was personal and meant to assess the political situation in the country.

Speaking to Zim Morning Post, Lovemore Madhuku of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) said there was no conversation on the formation of a GNU with the former South African president.

“A GNU was not part of that conversation with Mbeki. We told him the problems we are facing as political actors and he acknowledged that dialogue was the only available option at the moment.

“But if he thinks of another avenue besides the Polad route, then that would be welcome,” Madhuku said.

Asked on the finer details of the meeting, Madhuku said Mbeki had come to Zimbabwe as a former South African president and a friend of Zimbabwe.

“His visit is based on his relationship with Zimbabweans and his realisation that the problems we are facing as a nation needed a solution.

“He also knows that there is a lot to be done for us to develop but he wasn’t acting on behalf of Sadc or the Africa Union,” Madhuku added.

Obert Gutu, vice president of the MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe, said there was currently “No GNU part 2” as was being purported by some Zimbabweans.

“We met to debrief him on the progress that has been made so far by Polad, and we took turns to tell him about the challenges we are experiencing as a group of politicians.”

He said Mbeki also wanted to understand the socioeconomic and political challenges that Zimbabweans were facing, including familiarising himself with the progress made so far on both fronts.

The former President of South Africa is also expected to meet civic and church leaders before his departure.

His visit comes at a time MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has been calling for an independent convener in the current political crisis in Zimbabwe.

His visit also coincides with statements made by the Sadc Exucutive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, who has called for a mediator in the Zimbabwean situation.

“Fellow Sadc citizens, let us give space to the mediation! And let us be supportive,” wrote Tax on her microblogging Twitter account.

Mbeki once led political negotiations between the late former President Robert Mugabe, the late Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and other interest groups into a GNU arrangement between 2009 and 2013.

— ZimMorningPost

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