South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Special Envoys Sydney Mufamadi, a former Cabinet minister, and Baleka Mbete, former Deputy President and Speaker of Parliament, were barred by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to meet MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and MDC-T President Thokozani Khupe, The Daily Maverick has reported.
According to the reports Mnangagwa told the South African delegation that he understood from his communication with Ramaphosa that Mufamadi and Mbete were presidential envoys and this was a government-to-government initiative so they should only be meeting the government.
He said that, once they had reported back to Ramaphosa on their meeting with him, they could return to Zimbabwe to meet the MDC and civil society, if they still wanted to do so.
“Despite the protests of the special envoys, Mnangagwa would not budge. And so they returned to South Africa on Tuesday after having met only Mnangagwa.” The paper quoted sources.
“Mufamadi and Mbete had little choice to back down when Mnangagwa refused them permission to meet the others on their list. Since they had no mandate from the regional intergovernmental organisation SADC (the Southern African Development Community) or the continental body, the African Union, they had to defer to the Zimbabwe government’s sovereign right to determine who they could meet and who not.”
The paper also mentions a Ngoako Ramathlodi who was also part of the mission and was due to meet with the Command element.-Byo24