Stop meddling in Zimbabwe affairs, South Africa told

Supporters of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party.

Photo credit: File | Jekesai Njikizana | Afp

What you need to know:

  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa this week dispatched three special envoys to  Zimbabwe following concerns of a government clampdown against critics.
  • The envoys, however, returned home without meeting the opposition and civil society amid reports that they were blocked by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Harare

Zimbabwe said on Thursday South Africa is meddling in its affairs even as calls grew louder for an urgent intervention to solve a deepening  political crisis in the troubled country.

Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists in Harare that calls by South African politicians for a tougher stance on Zimbabwe were misplaced.

"South African domestic politics can be allowed to be spirited," Mrs Mutsvangwa said.

"Even then, neither comments from some figures in the ruling party nor irate remarks from its opposition ranks should be taken as the basis of creating perceptions or attributions  of crisis in other countries."

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa this week dispatched three special envoys to  Zimbabwe following concerns of a government clampdown against critics.

The envoys, however, returned home without meeting the opposition and civil society amid reports that they were blocked by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

This sparked calls in South Africa for a firmer approach to the Zimbabwean crisis by President Ramaphosa, who is also the African Union chairperson.

A senior ANC official Lindiwe Zulu said there was need for an African intervention in Zimbabwe  describing the situation in that country as a crisis.

The radical Economic Freedom Fighters led by Julius Malema Malema says it will close the Zimbabwe embassy in Pretoria until President Mnangagwa’s government stopped human rights violations.

Mrs Mutsvangwa said there was no crisis in Zimbabwe to warrant any foreign intervention.

"All said there is no crisis in Zimbabwe, which needs external intervention under established international treaties," she said.

"The subjective opinions be they from third party political entities, diplomatic circles are not the proper guide in the conduct of diplomacy  among sovereign and friendly nations."

Mrs Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe was not on the agenda of the Southern African Development Community summit scheduled for Monday, hence the attention on the country was unwarranted.

President Mnangagwa’s government blames the political chaos  on the opposition, which it says is working with Western countries to stabilise the country.

The 77-year-old ruler, who took over from the late Robert Mugabe following  a 2017 military coup, won a disputed election two years ago.

Since then he has used security forces to crush dissent with soldiers accused of killing citizens following protests on two different occasions.

On July 31 security forces were used to thwart protests against  alleged high level government corruption.

Opposition MDC Alliance says over 30 of its activists have since been forced into hiding following  spate of arbitrary arrests and abductions.

The African Union and the United Nations are some of the major international bodies that have voiced concern over  the situation in Zimbabwe.

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