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ANC Envoys Return to South Africa Promising to Engage Other Zimbabwe Stakeholders in 3 Weeks

FILE: African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Ace Magashule in Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 13, 2018.
FILE: African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Ace Magashule in Johannesburg, South Africa, Feb. 13, 2018.

African National Congress (ANC) secretary general, Elias ‘Ace’ Sekgobelo Magashule, says special envoys sent to Zimbabwe by South Africa’s ruling party are expected to return to the neighboring nation within the next three weeks to discuss the political situation in the country where opponents are being allegedly brutalized by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Magashule told the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Wednesday evening, when his delegation arrived home, that they had frank discussions with Zanu PF officials about the political situation in Zimbabwe.

He said, “In terms of meeting other stakeholders and other political parties, because of time we have agreed that we go back or they will come to us. They (should) give us two to three weeks … We have communicated with them that we are definitely going to be back and we have communicated such an interaction with all of them and we have informed Zanu PF. There is no problem with that.”

Magashule also told the SABC that they had a fruitful meeting with Zimbabwe’s ruling party.

“It was a lovely meeting, very candid, frank, robust, open and Zanu PF did not have any problem for us to meet with other political parties as well as other stakeholders … Our agreement is we are going back … And we will arrange the meeting, the meeting is not arranged by Zanu PF. So, those stakeholders, those political parties, we are going to meet them.”

He made these remarks a couple of hours after the ruling Zanu PF party indicated that the ANC delegation was in Zimbabwe for a solidarity meeting with its “sister liberation movement.”

The ANC special envoys to Zimbabwe are Magashule, Lindiwe Zulu, Gwede Mantashe, Tony Yengeni, Enock Gondongwana, Nosiviwe Nqakula, Nomvula Mokonyane and Dakota Lekgoete.

Zanu PF secretary for administration, Obert Mpofu, who chaired the Zanu PF session in Harare on Wednesday, declined to comment, saying he was attending a meeting in the country’s capital city.

Representatives of several organizations including the Zimbabwe People’s Union (Zapu), Transform Zimbabwe Party, Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, Mavambo/Kusile Dawn Party, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and others want to meet with the special envoys.

Many activists, opposition parties and other stakeholders say there is a political crisis in Zimbabwe where some of them have been arrested for attempting to stage protests. Some claim that they have been tortured by suspected state-security agents. But the government says there is no crisis in Zimbabwe.