Political commentators have been left puzzled by how the two MDC political formations reacted to the decision by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s envoy not to meet their representatives after keeping them waiting the whole day on Monday.
The MDC-T led by Thokozani Khupe welcomed the decision and expressed confidence that President Ramaphosa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa are well able to deal with Zimbabwe’s crisis without engaging the opposition.
However, the MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa was left furious by the snub and warned Ramaphosa that the Mnangagwa administration is incapable of resolving these challenges because it lacks legitimacy.
Some political observers believe that Khupe’s measured response to the snub shows that she is politically mature while others have argued that it proves that MDC-T has become ZANU PF’s adopted child.
Part of the statement issued by MDC-T Acting Secretary for Information and Publicity Khaliphani Phugeni after the snub says:
… As MDC-T we welcome this development and remain positive that the two leaders in President Ramaphosa and President Mnangagwa will get to the bottom of the issues bedevilling our beautiful nation and Zimbabwe will once again experience peace, unity love and harmony.
In contrast, a statement released by MDC Alliance National Spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere says in part:
We can only assume that the failure to meet the MDC Alliance delegation was as a result of demands made by the Zanu PF delegation.
We reiterate that Zimbabwe is in a state of crisis that has been characterized by a de facto state of emergency, a crackdown on citizens, abductions, arbitrary arrests of government critics and the political persecution of journalists.
The Government in Harare is incapable of resolving these challenges because it lacks legitimacy.
South Africa’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Phakhama Mbete, had earlier requested Khupe and Chamisa to meet the envoy but later informed them that the meetings will not take place without giving reasons.