South Africa’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mphakama Mbete, has dismissed reports saying President Cyril Ramaphosa’s special envoys snubbed the country’s opposition and civil society organisations when they came to Harare on Monday.
Mbete says the envoy – former South African vice president Baleka Mbete and ex-ministers Sydney Mufamadi and Ngoako Ramatlhodi which was sent amid reports of deepening governance and human rights crisis in the country will meet with other key actors in Zimbabwe if an opportunity presents itself in future. The ambassador said:
The special envoys came to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa and they were also open to meeting any other key actors, including members of the opposition and the civil society if the opportunity presented itself.In this case, however, they met with the head of State of Zimbabwe and decided to go back to South Africa and brief President Ramaphosa on their meeting.
The envoy returned home soon after meeting Mnangagwa for more than two hours at State House prompting others to say it snubbed the opposition at President Mnangagwa’s instigation.
Zimbabwean authorities say the envoy came on a bilateral meeting, therefore, it was not obliged to meet the opposition.
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