On Tuesday Zanu (PF) dispatched a high powered delegation to the South African capital to lobby regional leaders before they review Zimbabwe’s insecure political situation blamed on President Robert Mugabe’s alleged refusal to share power.
The delegation comprises Zanu (PF) spin doctors Jonathan Moyo, Tafataona Mahoso, Vimbai Chivaura and former ambassador to China Chris Mutsvangwa.
Sources said the specific inclusion of the media hangmen, Moyo and Mahoso, was intended to hoodwink regional leaders into believing that President Mugabe was fully implementing the Global Political Agreement (GPA), citing piece-meal media reforms.
Since the SADC Troika meeting in Livingstone, Zambia in March, Moyo has written harsh articles in the state media criticising President Jacob Zuma’s mediation in the Zimbabwean crisis.
Together with Mahoso, who doubles up as the chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Media Commission and the controversial Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, have roundly condemned Zuma’s international affairs advisor Lindiwe Zulu and called for her withdrawal from the mediation team.
Mahoso and Mutsvanga are supposed to show the regional leaders that the ZMC and the BAZ have rolled out media reforms as demanded by under the GPA, citing the issuing of 25 newspaper licences and the call for two radio stations. Zanu (PF) insiders said part of the mandate of the delegation was to convince the regional leaders, through interviews on SABC television and radio as well as newspaper interviews that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party was a violent party.
“The other mandate of the delegation is to try and convince the region that elections should be held this year,” said a Zanu (PF) insider. But Dewa Mavhinga, the regional information and advocacy coordinator of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition – the non-governmental organisation coordinating activities of civil society organisation at the summit – said they had prepared enough ammunition to thwart the Zanu (PF) strategy.
“It appears Zanu (PF) wishes to intensify its lobby to get SADC to set aside Livingstone Troika resolutions,” Dewa told Radio VOP on Wednesday. “On our part we are prepared – on Thursday – 9 June we have a press conference at 10.30 am at Deveonshire Hotel targeting SADC leaders.
Immediately after the press conference, at the same venue, we shall launch a new Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition publication – The Military Factor in Zimbabwe’s Political and Electoral Affairs. On Saturday we shall have a Solidarity March and Rally focusing on a clear, enforceable elections roadmap for Zimbabwe,” said Dewa.
He added that that from Thursday (tomorrow) a local independent daily newspaper would be carrying a significant portion of the Crisis in Coalition’s Zimbabwe Briefing newsletter as an insert.
“This will enable us to reach a wider audience in Zimbabwe and in the region,” he said.
Scores of officials of Zimbabwe civil society organisation have made a bee-line to Johannesburg for the summit as part of the lobby to force President Mugabe to adhere to the GPA.