Zim govt explains why SA envoy only met Mnangagwa

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The Zimbabwean government has said the South African envoy sent by that country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa was not obliged to meet the opposition.

Ironically, the envoy was sent to assess reports of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and it was therefore anticipated that it would meet all or major stakeholders so as to have a comprehension of the matter.

The Secretaries of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Information, in that order, Ambassador James Manzou and Nick Managwana said what happened is a bilateral conversation between two leaders. Mangwana said:

The envoys were President Ramaphosa envoys to President Mnangagwa. If there was a crisis matter it would have been dealt with at institutional level by the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, but this was a bilateral engagement between two leaders.

President Ramaphosa was not engaging President Mnangagwa as the chairperson of the African Union, because under the AU regional bodies deal with matters that arise in their regions. And because there is no crisis in Zimbabwe, the issue has not been raised.

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Presidential Special envoys are deputations between two heads of State. Theirs is to deliver a message from one head of State to another and, to take back the response to sending Head of State.

They may derminine their status as special envoys.

There is thus no sensible reason to have expected the Mufamadi-led Special Envoys to have branched out of their strict mandate defined by the two interacting Heads of State and Govt by meeting other groups inside the country. Simply, that is not the role of Presidential Special Envoys.

Second confusion is to imagine this is a sub-regional intervention. It is not. It is merely a BILATERAL interaction between two close Heads of State representing two close sister republics.

If Sadc has to get involved – and there has to be very good grounds for that outside adulterated images circulated by the hashtag nonsense – that will happen through appropriate mechanism, namely Sadc Organ.

Meanwhile, some say the envoy was barred by President Mnangagwa from meeting the opposition as it was likely to gather a negative and contradicting report on human rights abuses in the country.

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