Mbalula’s involvement in Zanu PF affairs draws CCC fire

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party has expressed “grave” concern over the proactive involvement of the Secretary-General of South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), Fikile Mbalula, in Zanu PF political processes.

Mbalula has publicly endorsed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s disputed victory while labelling the CCC party leader a “puppet” of Western countries.

However, as the largest opposition party in Zimbabwe with 103 seats in Parliament, CCC argued that South Africa should assist in resolving the political challenges in Zimbabwe rather than hobnobbing with Zimbabwe’s ruling party or be seen to be taking sides. 

“We urge Mr Mbalula to put back his diplomatic jacket and abstain from doing the bidding for Zanu PF in trying to reverse or undermine the SADC damning report on Zimbabwe’s sham election,” said CCC in a statement.

“Mr Mbalula’s conduct is in violation of the values and principles of democracy, pan Africansim and Ubuntu. We still believe that South Africa must play a  key role in resolving the Zimbabwean stalemate and Mr Mbalula’s conduct undermines this imperative.”

CCC’s criticism of Mbalula also comes after the Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) condemned the ANC official for endorsing Zanu PF and claiming that the ANC had a close relationship with Zanu PF.

According to the CCC, South Africa and the rest of the SADC region stood to benefit more from a stable Zimbabwe.

“Not least, the relief the South African economy will derive from a sound political and economic atmosphere in Zimbabwe,” said the opposition party, which explained that a stable Zimbabwe would incentivise the return of the majority of Zimbabweans who have sought economic sanctuary in South Africa.

“Our people are raring to return to Zimbabwe as soon as the region has completed the process of assisting Zimbabwe.”

Assisting Zimbabwe, said CCC was a crucial process that requires “sober and objective engagements between South Africa and Zimbabwe political leaders,”  namely Chamisa and Mnangagwa.

“It is our considered view that Zimbabwe needs to conduct a fresh free and fair election underwritten by SADC and the African Union as the only route towards political stabilisation and legitimacy,” said the opposition party.

CCC added that it would soon be writing formally to the ANC to remonstrate on Mbalula’s conduct.      

Meanwhile, Mbalula’s involvement in Zanu PF has been seen in a letter he wrote to Principal of the OR Tambo School of Leadership in Johannesburg, David Masondo, cancelling a planned public lecture by Zimbabwean academic Ibbo Mandaza on Thursday.

The lecture was on ‘The State of Democracy in the SADC Region and A Reflection on the National Elections of Zimbabwe.’ 

Mbalaula asked for the lecture to be stopped, saying the ANC is engaged in “delicate” talks with Zanu PF.

However, Mandaza’s lecture was later restored and will be held at Wits University in Johannesburg after the OR Tambo School of Leadership, said the lecture would continue.
The leadership school said the lecture is a part of a series of public dialogues convened by the School as a platform to enhance political education to benefit members of the ANC, the broader mass democratic movement and the public through dialogue debate.

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