SOUTH African envoys recently seconded to Zimbabwe by President Cyril Ramaphosa should only pre-occupy themselves with allegations of human rights abuses and not President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legitimacy question, the MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe has said.
This comes as this week Ramaphosa dispatched three envoys; ex-ministers Sydney Mufamadi and Ngoako Ramatlhodi as well as former Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete on a fact-finding mission where they engaged Mnangagwa.
MDC-T’s party spokesperson Khaliphani Phugeni told the Daily News yesterday that Zimbabwe does not have an issue of legitimacy because Mnangagwa won the elections although there are some who are contesting that.
“It is that contestation which has brought polarisation in the country and impeding development. It is not fair to contest the president’s legitimacy when the courts ruled in his favour. When you seek adjudication you must accept the outcome and not hold the nation to ransom. So we expect the SA envoys to concentrate on allegations of human rights abuses,” said Phugeni.
He added that his party welcomed the envoys’ engagement with the president and deferred meetings with the opposition.
‘‘We are going to have our chance because the meeting was not cancelled, but deferred.”
This comes as the MDC Alliance claimed that it was Mnangagwa who barred Ramaphosa’s envoys from meeting them and civil society despite that they had initially indicated their intention to do so.
However, South African ambassador to Zimbabwe Phakama Mbete refuted the allegations by the opposition party that it had snubbed them.
“The special envoys came to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa and they were also open to meeting any other key actors, including members of the opposition and the civil society if the opportunity presented itself.
“In this case however, they met with the head of State and decided to go back to South Africa and brief President Ramaphosa on their meeting. Their wish is to meet with other stakeholders in Zimbabwe and if an opportunity presents itself, they will come back and meet them in future,” Mbete said.