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Chamisa, Mnangagwa told not to expect foreign support

by Staff reporter
14 Aug 2020 at 19:09hrs | Views
WITH the situation in Zimbabwe remaining tense, both local and external analysts say the only viable path out of the country's mess is to get President Emmerson Mnangagwa to work closely with the opposition.

This comes as some in the opposition have once again pinned their hopes on South Africa, regional bloc Sadc and the international community somehow intervening decisively in Zimbabwe's long-standing political and economic crises this time around.

It also comes days after President Cyril Ramaphosa dispatched special envoys - former South Africa vice president Baleka Mbete and ex-ministers Sydney Mufamadi and Ngoako Ramatlhodi - to Harare, where they held a meeting with Mnangagwa over the country's myriad crises.

Now, and amid the divided local opinions over Ramaphosa's intervention, analysts say hopes that outsiders will finally manage to resolve Zimbabwe's problems are misplaced.

"South Africa's deployment of special envoys to help resolve the Zimbabwe crisis is an important first step which requires further steps and leadership from Zimbabweans themselves.

"With all the ongoing challenges in the global economy, including the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, the world can move on without paying attention to Zimbabwe.

"So, the responsibility is on the collective leadership in Zimbabwe to take the decisive and necessary steps to find a lasting solution to the multi-faceted crisis currently engulfing the country," Human Rights Watch director for southern Africa, Dewa Mavhinga, told the Daily News yesterday.

University of Zimbabwe politics expert, Eldred Masunungure, said Ramaphosa's success in ending the country's troubles was heavily dependent on co-operation between Mnangagwa and the opposition.

"The South African initiative may succeed, but it depends on Zanu-PF moving from its rigid position where they are demanding all stakeholders to come to join Polad (the Political Actors Dialogue) for negotiations, and the main opposition is against that.

"At the moment, we have a stalemate. (Nelson) Chamisa and Mnangagwa are the most two important players. They need to soften their stance, especially Zanu-PF.

"It seems they (Zanu-PF) have hardened their stance after the July 31 demonstration," Masunungure told the Daily News.

Professor of World Politics, Stephen Chan, also warned that no one was likely to help Zimbabwe, because the country had failed to end its own troubles when outsiders had previously tried to assist it.

"South Africa is having desperate problems of its own right now. So is China, by the way. No one is going to come to rescue Zimbabwe.

"Right now, it's down to Zimbabwe itself, by itself," Chan told the Daily News.
The director of the Centre for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg, David Monyae, said South Africa was not likely to succeed in ending Zimbabwe's problems - adding that it was up to Zimbabweans themselves to end the crises engulfing their country.

"Once again, Zimbabwe faces its usual periodical flares. This particular flare comes at the worst of times, whether seen from internal or external factors.

"Despite the fanfare of a new dawn ushered in by the military in upending (the late former president Robert) Mugabe's almost four decades rule, both Zanu-PF and the splintered MDC formations failed to find ways of uniting the country around a meaningful reconstruction.

"This goes to show that Mugabe's ouster was not an indictment on his leadership; it was a change of personnel, but business continues as usual," Monyae said in an opinion yesterday.

"The second most important factor that distinguishes the current situation from the previous disturbances is that the main guarantors of peace in Zimbabwe - mainly Sadc led by South Africa, former colonial powers led by the UK and more importantly the US - have lost the power to influence the situation.

"The perceived power of Pretoria to influence … Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF is eroding daily. While … Ramaphosa dispatches envoys, Baleka Mbete and Sydney Mufamadi to Harare in an attempt to quieten the noise, his Finance minister Tito Mboweni is pre-occupied with the business of borrowing money from the IMF and the World Bank.

"This act of borrowing funds from the IMF was one of Zimbabwe's original sins," Monyae said further.

"Britain and the US are too stuck in their own unravelling decline to be counted upon to marshal any influence in Zimbabwe.

"The UK, outside the EU, carries no sticks or carrots of note to be noticed in Harare.

"With all of the above, one wonders what exactly the envoys could possibly say to Mnangagwa and splintered MDC formations to really carry weight that warrants change?

"At the end of the day, the fate of Zimbabwe will be wrought by Zimbabweans themselves," Monyae added in his opinion published in the Daily Maverick.

All this comes as the government has been accused of launching a brutal crackdown against the organisers of last month's flopped mass protests.

Rights groups have also said dozens of opposition figures and activists have been tortured and assaulted in a retributive exercise by suspected security agents.

On its part, the government has refuted the allegations - claiming instead that the opposition is allegedly working with foreigners to destabilise the country.

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Source - dailynews

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