Zimbabwe: Parties Welcome Mbeki's Gesture

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki addresses journalists in Harare.
18 December 2019

The visit by former South African president Thabo Mbeki to meet Zimbabwean political party leaders demonstrates his belief in African solutions to African challenges, political parties have said.

Mr Mbeki met with President Mnangagwa and other political party leaders.

Speaking in an interview with The Herald yesterday, ZANU-PF South Africa's spokesperson Cde Kennedy Mandaza said Mr Mbeki's visit signifies the strong relationship that exists between Zimbabwe and South Africa.

He said that it was important for leaders in neighbouring countries to be appreciative of where the country is both politically and economically.

"He is the last of the four presidents of South Africa who have come to meet their brother President Mnangagwa to see and hear the challenges and progress in Zimbabwe given that Zimbabwe has strong ties with South Africa. Furthermore, an understanding and appreciation by our South African neighbours of where we are politically and economically is critical in charting the way forward.

"After the meeting, former president Mbeki commended President Mnangagwa for the current progress politically and economically which he said had seen the nation of Zimbabwe in a stable position and he saluted current efforts by Government," he said.

"Mr Mbeki made it clear that political players should follow the will of the people and outcomes from the Judiciary system."

MDC-T vice president Mr Obert Gutu said Mr Mbeki had come to encourage dialogue.

"If you have carefully studied president Thabo Mbeki's political history as well as his ideological background, you will know that he's a die-hard Pan-Africanist who passionately believes in the concept of African solutions for African challenges.

"Certainly, he's never been amused by the misguided belief that Africans should always rush to Great Britain or the United States of America each time they want to obtain solutions to their domestic political and socio-economic challenges.

"In this respect, therefore, I can safely and confidently state that president Thabo Mbeki has come to Zimbabwe to specifically encourage local political actors to talk to each other.

"I have no mandate to speak for and on behalf of president Thabo Mbeki, but it will be stretching one's imagination too far to claim that president Thabo Mbeki has come to Zimbabwe to broker another Government of National Unity," said Mr Gutu.

Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) leader, Linda Masarira-Kaingidza said Mr Mbeki's visit was to unite the country's political parties.

"Mr Mbeki's visit to Zimbabwe and efforts to meet political party leaders demonstrates a potential transformation energy necessary for progression into a new, probably unexpected era.

"In assisting each other it is our neighbours' obligation to ensure we are driving in some force that would not affect progression socially, economically and politically. These are the fundamentals we need," she said.

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