The African National Congress (ANC) sent a mediation team to the Republic of Zimbabwe and met with the governing party Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) on the 9th September 2020. The day after they delivered a Joint Communique on the 10th September 2020, which haven’t gotten the best press either.
In this game, the ANC couldn’t win. They didn’t raise the stakes and neither did they address the needs of Zimbabwe. The ANC or the South African delegation to Zimbabwe only met with on party and didn’t even try to seek grievances elsewhere. Because, ZANU-PF the ruling regime will not tell the truth, neither will they address the issues at hand. That will make their ills and violence naked to the world to see. Something that would be stupid for them and they don’t want the neighbour to that for them.
Therefore, the ANC and the South African playing this soft has backfired. They didn’t do anything and also gotten nothing to bring home. They are going to a barbecue, but they don’t have meat or a salad. They are coming empty handed and hoping to eat a feast.
The ANC should have known and been prepared, alas it seems like a fishing expedition. ZANU-PF are now disowning and discrediting ANC. They are playing out all their cards and mocking the ANC. There is nothing they are not saying or touching on, which cannot be thrown back at them. Still, they are doing it for one reason. To make an insult of self-defence.
They are claiming Mbeki was invited, while this time they came on their own. Not like the ANC wasn’t coming there as a representation of the African Union, which Ramaphosa is the leader of right now. Mnangagwa knows that and the ZANU-PF knows that too. SADC have been silent on Zimbabwe too… so they have gotten off easy considering the issues that is living out in the Republic.
ZANU-PF knows about this and their methods to silence critics and dissidents. The state of affairs is this way and instead of addressing that. Take accountability and being transparent about that. The ZANU-PF throws shade ANC. Saying all kind of ridicule and being ridiculous… like the younger sibling teasing the older sibling. We have seen it all before and ZANU-PF plays it to a T.
If the ones in-charge in Harare things this is a smooth move and brilliant PR. They are clearly misguided. Yes, it helps their backers and the ones in power. However, they are not getting more friends or even getting positive feedback from the international community.
ANC should have played this differently and not rushed this out so quick. Yes, there was an outcry and legitimately so… there are plenty of violations and issues, which the ZANU-PF doesn’t want to change. Because, that means they have to answer for their actions, which they are not interested in doing.
With all of this in mind, the ANC couldn’t have made a difference. There is no will from the authorities in Harare anyway. That is why they are deflecting and showing no remorse in the media in the days after. They are even vilifying the ANC. That is to the extent the ZANU-PF goes too further their own interests. ZANU-PF only did this, because they felt they had too. Not because they wanted too.
So, Ramaphosa, AU and SADC have to see what has happen after the meeting and ask for an invitation with a mandate. Because, what they did now was a lot of nothing with no results and getting a lot unnecessary scrutiny, which they could have prepared before leaving South Africa. Alas, they didn’t and with the haste to intervene. They have only lost on both fronts and ZANU-PF is only showing their true face… Peace.