The ruling ZANU PF says it will not allow members of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) to come to Zimbabwe and meet with opposition parties as that move would be the first of its kind.
ZANU PF secretary for External Affairs, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, on Friday told journalists that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe, therefore, the ANC’s mediation is not needed. Said Mumbengegwi:
“The question of a sister party coming to the country of another sister party to establish bilateral relations with the opposition party is unheard of (as) that can only happen in the context of mediation and mediation can only occur with the consent of the conflicting parties.
“But where there is no crisis, there is no real need for mediation and therefore no purpose will be served by trying to play a mediatory role, where there is no crisis and where there is no conflict and more importantly, where there is no consent of the parties involved.”
Mumbengegwi said they were surprised to hear a member of the ANC delegation, Lindiwe Zulu, telling reporters on landing in South Africa that there was a crisis in Zimbabwe. He added:
“I know why you are asking, my counterpart (Lindiwe Zulu), on landing in South Africa held a media briefing where she riveted back to the original position that there was a crisis in Zimbabwe and therefore they needed to come back to Zimbabwe to resolve that crisis, but surely how can you unilaterally reverse a common position that the two delegations agreed on.
“I want to assure you that it is not normal for a former liberation party to impose itself on another and therefore we only hope that the views expressed were individual views and we would be very surprised if there is the common position of the ANC.
“… There is no way an ANC delegation will come to Zimbabwe to interfere in our domestic affairs.”
However, speaking to South African media soon after returning from Harare, the head of the ANC delegation Elias “Ace” Magashule, said the ANC would make a follow-up meeting with opposition political parties and other stakeholders in Zimbabwe in the next two to three weeks.
Magashule also said ZANU PF did not object to the ANC’s desire to meet with other political parties and other stakeholders in Zimbabwe.