Former leader of a South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane was on Friday involved in a heated exchange with two top Zimbabwean government officials.
Maimane initially reacted to an excerpt of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s statement at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly that was posted on Twitter by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Ndavaningi Mangwana. The extract read:
There is no better way of achieving a peaceful and stable world than through mutual respect, genuine multilateralism buttressed by much-needed reforms and respect for international law.
In response, Maimane told Mangwana that Mnangagwa has no moral high ground to lecture the United Nations (UN) and should stop abusing citizens. He said:
Tell him to stop violating human rights, to stop abusing his citizens. ED has no moral high ground to lecture the United Nations. In fact, Zimbabwe should be on the UNSC agenda.
Maimane’s comments seemingly angered Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba, who called the former a “Quisling”, a term which refers to a traitor who collaborates with an enemy force occupying their country. Maimane responded:
Did Nick dial a friend? Is that the strong comeback? The point is clear and the global community is watching.
Respect the human rights of citizens, stop being allergic to the constitution.
… Because you arrest and abduct those who speak honestly about the brutal and corrupt regime.
Your comebacks are as good as the Zimbabwean economy under Zanu PF.
Stop abusing citizens. Stop abusing journalists. Stop terrorizing opposition politicians. Very simple.