THE Thabo Mbeki Foundation has announced that the South African Government has given former SA President Thabo Mbeki the greenlight negotiate a deal for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa.
Mbeki was in the country in Zimbabwe, but on a private visit, where he met President Mnangagwa, Mr Chamisa, leaders from the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) platform as well as civic and church leaders.
He promised to return before the end of the year, but failed to do so “as it took longer to secure the South African government’s support for his latest initiative to solve Zimbabwe’s political challenges,” it has emerged.
Mbeki is now set to return end of this month.
Linda Maso, who is in charge of political affairs at the South African embassy in Harare, told Zimbabwe Voice that Mbeki is coming back under the banner of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, but with the full support of the South African Government of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“When President Mbeki came to Harare last December, it was a private visit in which he sought to engage Zimbabwe’s leaders in both government and the civic sector on the political challenges they are facing.
“He returned to South Africa hoping to be back in Zimbabwe before year end, but that could not happen. However, the South African Government has finally given (former) President Mbeki its full support in his endeavours regarding Zimbabwe dialogue.
“We are in constant communication with the Thabo Mbeki Foundation and with out government in terms of what needs to be done at the next visit by President Mbeki, expected in the next few weeks. Most of the logistics considerations are already in place.
“We shall be contacting President Mnangagwa and Mr Chamisa very soon. The Thabo Mbeki Foundation is now handling the whole matter,” said the diplomat.
The Thabo Mbeki Foundation says it aims to “establish itself as one of the premier African centers for dialogue, research and publications focused on promoting the African Renaissance.”
It also seeks to “contribute to the training of especially the African youth to become change agents, consistent with the interests of the peoples of Africa and humanity as a whole.”
Mbeki is the patron of the foundation. In 2009, he played centre stage in stitching up a Global Political Agreement between the Zanu-PF then led by Robert Mugabe and the MDC-T then led by Morgan Tsvangirai. Also included was the MDC-M led by Professor Arthur Mutambara.
The GPA led to the Government of National Unity which ran affairs between 2009 and 2013, after which the MDC lost elections and reverted to opposition party.
Chamisa, speaking at a mid-week rally in Mbare dubbed “2020 Agenda”, said he was backing down from putting conditions for dialogue.
Chamisa also said dialogue would include the army as they too have their own concerns and fears which need to be addressed.
In the past, both Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo and Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba have insisted that the only dialogue platform the ruling party would entertain is the POLAD.
Chamisa has resisted taking part in the POLAD, saying the majority of the political leaders on the platform have no political grievances as they are not the “aggrieved” party. Chamisa insists he won the 2018 presidential election but was rigged by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) working in collusion with Zanu-PF.
This is despite the fact that a full bench of the Constitutional Court dismissed his election outcome challenge with costs for lack of evidence.
— Zimbabwe Voice