Ramaphosa must stand against ZANU-PF ‘tyranny’ or continue with ‘quiet diplomacy’ – DA

Protesters run from a stun grenade fired by police outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa's Pretoria. AFP/Phill Magakoe

As chairman of the AU, Ramaphosa has to make a choice on whether to stand with the people of Zimbabwe or continue with the failed policy of quiet diplomacy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as AU chairperson, must show leadership and go to Harare and meet with relevant stakeholders to obtain a balanced picture of the political crisis unfolding in Zimbabwe.

In a statement, the Democratic Alliance says they call on Ramaphosa to go to Harare, after Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, said there were those who had intentions to divide citizens and weaken the country’s systems.

During a briefing, last week, Mnangagwa called for unity to ease tensions, amid security forces being deployed to Zimbabwe’s two main cities, Harare and Bulawayo to prevent anti-government marches called by activists over corruption.

While hospitals in the region have been crippled by strikes and reports of lack of medicine, Ramaphosa sent envoys to the region, to meet with opposition leaders.

Media reports indicate that Sydney Mufamadi, Baleka Mbethe and Ngoako Ramathlodi were hosted at a ‘tea briefing’ by Mnangagwa where they were told that there was no crisis in Zimbabwe, and therefore there was no need to meet with the opposition of civil society.

The envoys, according to the DA, were strong-armed into cancelling meetings with the oppositions civil society.

“This is unacceptable. Mr Mnangagwa’s government has unleashed a reign of terror on defenceless citizens, arresting journalists and activists on trumped-up charges.

“For him to claim that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe and ask that the envoys sent by the AU chairperson turn around and go back without meeting the opposition, is a poor attempt at covering up the actions of his murderous regime.

“For far too long, successive ANC governments have stood by as ZANU-PF has trampled civil liberties with impunity and disregard for the rule of law. The ANC has played an enabling role in the Zimbabwe crisis by glossing over state brutality in the country and its mismanagement of the economy.”

The DA says Ramaphosa, as chairman of the AU, has to make a choice on whether to stand with the people of Zimbabwe against the tyranny of ZANU-PF or continue with the failed policy of quiet diplomacy.

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