The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to withdraw his appointment of Baleka Mbete and Sydney Mufamadi as Special envoys to Zimbabwe. The DA’s Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Darren Bergman has accused Mbete and Mufamadi of holding a political bias towards the ZANU-PF-led regime in Zimbabwe.
DA CALLS FOR A RECALL OF ‘BIASED’ ZIMBABWE ENVOYS
Bergman says that the two special envoys will be achieve little in their roles except to assist the regime in Zimbabwe in covering up atrocities. “Failure to withdraw these two individuals will render the mission a farce and an attempt by President Ramaphosa to cover up the human rights abuses that Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has been committing against defenseless Zimbabweans,” Bergman said.
“If the President refuses to withdraw these ‘envoys’, we call on the Zimbabwean people to reject this poor attempt to whitewash their abuse and suffering at the hands of Mnangagwa’s military government.”
Bergman slammed Mbete’s praise of the military coup which installed Emmerson Mnangagwa as successor to Robert Mugabe and called to mind Mufamedi’s refusal to meet with Zimbabwe’s opposition leaders during another bout of unrest in 2007. “While attending ZANU-PF’s extraordinary congress in December 2017, Mbete, who was representing the ANC, heaped praise on ZANU-PF for the military coup that removed Mugabe,” Bergman added.
“Her counterpart, Sydney Mufamadi, refused to meet with opposition leaders in Zimbabwe in 2007 when he was sent by then-president Thabo Mbeki in response to the country’s escalating political crisis, choosing instead to focus his attention on the then-president Robert Mugabe. “In fact, both Mbeki and Mufamadi insisted that the opposition leaders recognise Mugabe as the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe before political talks could begin.”
DA FEARS THE ANC WILL COVER FOR ZANU-PF
Bergman insists that there is little evidence to suggest that these special envoys will play any part in alleviating the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe. “Under this cloud of political bias, Ramaphosa’s ‘envoys’ cannot claim to be acting on behalf of the South African government,” the opposition party member said. “They are ANC functionaries who have been sent by Ramaphosa to express solidarity with Mnangagwa’s murderous government.
“Mnangagwa’s government has used the cover of Covid-19 to unleash an unprecedented attack on individual freedoms by arresting journalists like Hopewell Chinono, whose only crime was exposing corruption, and using force to stop citizens from exercising their right to protest. “What Zimbabweans do not need at the moment is Ramaphosa using the ANC’s solidarity with ZANU-PF to engineer an international cover-up of Zimbabwe’s escalating political and economic crisis. ‘Quiet diplomacy’ should never be allowed to turn into ‘Cover-up Diplomacy’.” Culled/James Richardson/The South African
Main Photo: Pres. Ramaphosa, Time.com