PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson, George Charamba has dismissed as false, claims by MDC leader Nelson Chamisa the state leader was evading former South African President Thabo Mbeki.
Mbeki was in Zimbabwe last year to facilitate renewed political dialogue between Zanu PF and the opposition party.
Speaking at the Bulawayo Press Club last week, Chamisa told journalists that Mbeki had told him that Mnangagwa was neither taking nor returning his phone calls.
However, Charamba said Mnangagwa and Mbeki actually met at the recent African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“I don’t know what he (Chamisa) was referring to. He is not a member of the Mbeki house as far as I know, or is he a member of the Mnangagwa household, so he wouldn’t know what goes on between the two of them,” said Charamba.
“In reality, the two met briefly on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa and had a bit of a chat and I can assure you that the President of Zimbabwe, out of courtesy, updated the former President of South Africa on the developments in the country.”
Charamba said the MDC’s wish for a Mbeki-driven dialogue would not be realised as there already was the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) set up for engagement between political players in the country.
“By the way, there is a misconception to say that President Mbeki came to Zimbabwe to mediate between MDC and Zanu PF,” he said. “That’s not true, it is actually a wish by the MDC which will not be realised.
“The President has made it clear that the only available platform for national political dialogue is the Political Actors Dialogue. Anyone or everyone interested in engaging Zanu PF or any other party will do so within the context of POLAD and no other platform.”