A senior official in Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party on Tuesday accused South Africa of interference, a day after the troubled country’s influential neighbour called for serious reforms before elections.
Mugabe who turned 88 last month is insisting on elections even before a new constitution agreed under a power sharing agreement is finalised.
South African Foreign Affairs minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on Monday told parliament her country would insist on full reforms before the polls.
“The GPA (Global Political Agreement) envisages that an election in Zimbabwe will only be held following the finalisation of the constitution-making process,” she said. “Our government therefore expects that there would be no deviation from the provisions of the GPA.”
But a member of Mugabe’s highest decision making body, the politburo and former Information minister Jonathan Moyo hit back telling Nkoana-Mashabane to ‘shut up.’
“This woman as an official of the South African government has no business whatsoever commenting on this thing,” he told an online publication.
“Zimbabwe has never been a province of South Africa, is not a province of South Africa and will never be a province of South Africa.
“It is outrageous that you have someone using her national institution (parliament) and using her ministerial portfolio to comment on Zimbabwe saying ‘our government’ to refer to a SADC process. ”
“It’s provocative and insulting,” Moyo said Nkoana-Mashabane “knows very well she has no business meddling in Zimbabwe’s affairs, she can only say that and get away with it if she believed Zimbabwe is a province of South Africa.”
Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, a key Mugabe ally said his party would not allow South Africa to dictate terms to Zimbabwe.
”We will not be forced to act in a manner the South Africans want. We are a sovereign country that has its laws,” he said.
The hardline clique around Mugabe is pressing for early elections before key reforms which include those on media and electoral process institutions.
Mugabe announced at his 88th birthday bash in February that facilitators can be replaced.
“We can reject Zuma very easily,” he said. “We will not brook any dictation from any source. We are a sovereign country. Even our neighbours cannot dictate to us. We will resist that.”
Anti-Mugabe clause threatens new Zimbabwe constitution
Zimbabwe: No elections without reform
Zimbabwe dominates Zuma’s Botswana, Namibia visits
Happy Birthday Mr. President Mugabe, A beauty pageant perhaps?
Understand Africa's tomorrow... today
We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.View subscription options