Zim statements ‘mischievous’ – Thabo Mbeki

2013-08-30 11:21

Statements attributed to former president Thabo Mbeki about Zimbabwe’s election and land reform policy were “mischievous”, his office has said.

They were intended to “communicate falsehoods to achieve particular political outcomes”, Mbeki’s spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga said yesterday in a statement.

Zimbabwe’s NewsDay website reported Mbeki had expressed disappointment at the Movement for Democratic Change’s (MDC) withdrawal of its court challenge of the election results.

It also reported that, during a seminar at the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute at the University of South Africa in Pretoria last week, he also indicated his disappointment at the way Zimbabwe’s land reform process was carried out.

Ratshitanga said it was true Mbeki had expressed the view that Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) would have been well-served by the MDC’s allegations of electoral irregularities going through the courts.

This was so the matter could be laid to rest once and for all, he said.

“With regard to Zimbabwe’s land reform process, former president Mbeki said that though SADC agreed with the Zimbabwean government about the imperative for land reform, it did not agree with the manner in which the process was carried out.

“He added that this agreement notwithstanding, the land reform process in Zimbabwe has proved successful.”

Ratshitanga said the fact that SADC, of which South Africa is a member, had expressed a contrary opinion to Zimbabwe’s government at the time must have come as a “shocking surprise” to NewsDay.

However, as shocking as this revelation might have been, it was no justification to twist and manipulate the truth, he said.

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