South Africa has called upon Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU PF to be open for unconditional engagement with the opposition as a way to resolve the economic, humanitarian and political crises in the country.Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation made the remarks before meeting her Zimbabwean counterpart, Ambassador Frederick Shava in Cape Town on Friday.
Speaking to News24, Naledi said:
_I really would like to put the question that I always put to my colleagues, this will be the first time we’re having a formal meeting, He’s the new minister of foreign affairs and I just want to ask him, how can we help Zimbabwe?_
_Their stability is very important to our stability. Their economic progress is important to South Africa’s economic progress and the South African have access, particularly to low-skilled, labour-intensive jobs._
_In our discussions, we’ll raise the important need for the opposition to be able to function, but this is something we think Zimbabweans must discuss together._
_We’d like Zanu PF to be open to engaging across parties, and not putting any conditions to that in the first instance._
Unconditional engagement is called for after initial efforts to have ZANU PF and the main opposition, MDC Alliance, sit on the table failed after each side made “unreasonable demands.”
Analysts believe the crises in the country can be resolved if and when the impasse between the ruling party and the opposition is resolved.
The deadlock started in 2018 when MDC Alliance refused to accept President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the presidential elections claiming that he had rigged the poll results with the help of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.