Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is planning to hold meetings with southern African heads of state who are currently attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York.
This would mark the first time he engages in direct discussions with some of the leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) since his contested election victory in August.
Mnangagwa was inaugurated one week after the election results were announced, with only three SADC heads of state present – Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.
Since then, Zimbabwe has experienced tensions with Zambia following President Hakainde Hichilema’s criticism of the election process.
According to government spokesperson Nick Mangwana, Mnangagwa will hold meetings with his close allies, Ramaphosa and Nyusi. Additionally, he will meet SADC Chairperson, Angolan President João Lourenço, and Namibian President Hage Geingob for the first time during his second term.
Mnangagwa faced international relations challenges after election observer missions raised concerns about the fairness of the elections. The European Union, the Commonwealth, and SADC’s observer missions all issued critical reports.
Reports of post-election intimidation in Zimbabwe, particularly targeting opposition legislators and supporters, have also emerged. The U.S. Embassy in Harare expressed concern about ongoing politically motivated violence and intimidation in a statement, emphasizing that every individual, regardless of their political affiliation, deserves to live without fear and be treated fairly under the law.
Mangwana added that President Mnangagwa is scheduled to meet with Andrew Mitchell, the UK Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
As per the schedule, Mnangagwa is expected to address the UN General Assembly between 15:00 and 15:45 on Thursday.
Meanwhile, during his address on Tuesday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the removal of targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe, citing their adverse impact on ordinary citizens and neighboring countries.
Source – zimlive